As you say good bye to 2017 and welcome in 2018, take a moment and reflect on all you have changed in your life this past year. Many small changes, new clothes and the like, are not that noticeable. Big changes - like new jobs, changes in family members, moved to a new home – are far more noticeable.
Here is a list of some things that your agent should be notified of when they occur in life:
1. New additions in the household: Whether it is a marriage, a birth, an adoption, or another type of addition this is a change in your life that may affect your policy – especially if that person is of driving age and your policy is an auto policy.
2. Loss of household members: Whether by moving out of adult children, divorce/separation, or the tragedy of death this is another change in your life that may affect your policy.
3. Happy birthday: Is your child now 15 and wanting to drive? Are you now 55 and eligible for a defensive driver discount? Certain changes in age lead to changes in auto policies and rates.
4. New vehicle/change in vehicle ownership: Of course new vehicles are a no brainer as you want to make sure it is insured. But be aware when you pay off your vehicle or change the title over to your child your agent should be notified so changes can be made to your policy. Also, don’t forget to let your agent know when you sell a vehicle.
5. Change of address: A change of physical address may change your rating territory on your auto or renters policy. For a homeowner, it means a whole new policy for the new location and a cancel or rewrite of the old home policy. A change in mailing address helps your policy documents reach you on time. In either circumstance, it is best to let your agent know so they may assist you with the needed changes and advise of any change in rates that may occur.
6. Big ticket purchases/additions: Are you an art enthusiast? Did you get engaged? Did you start a new hobby? Fell in love with an antique and bought it? Homeowner and renters policies have built in limits for certain items: guns, jewelry, fine arts, and antiques to name a few.
7. New recreational vehicle: Most recreational vehicles are not licensed for road use, so it is common to assume your homeowners or renters insurance will cover any losses. These vehicles are better covered on a recreational vehicle or boat policy.
8. Business in your home: You may not think about it, but any business that you manage or operate out of your home your agent should be made aware of. There are limitations to business property in a homeowner policy, not to mention the change in the liability risk.
9. Refinance or pay off your mortgage: Changes in the loan or payoff of the loan are not always communicated by the lender to your agent. Make sure to check in with your agent.
10. Remodel of your home: Upgrading your kitchen or bath, tearing out that old carpet and replacing with wood, adding on that new deck or pushing out walls to add on a sewing room or new bedroom – all these change the replacement value of your home. Even updating the wiring, plumbing, heating and roof can affect your insurance rate.
Not sure if your life changes will affect your insurance? Call us and ask. We are always willing to answer your questions or help with any changes you need made to your policy.