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Beyond Investments- Insurance Coverage Gaps

Published by: Chase Kerby, CFP®,AIF® Date: June 12, 2020

“So Easy, a Caveman Could Do It” was the punchline of a popular Geico commercial series that began running in 2004, and referred to how simple it can be to change insurance companies and save money.

In reality, reviewing and improving our personal property & casualty insurance like home and auto policies can be one of the most straightforward steps we can take to achieve a significant positive effect on our financial well-being and prevent a potentially disastrous loss that could wreck even the best financial plan.

The most critical place to start is to ensure you are adequately covered for what could happen. Insurance agents or your financial planner are experts that can help review your policies and look for common gaps in coverage as well as holes that may be unique to you, your family, or your asset level.

These gaps may not be present when the policy is purchased initially but may show up over time as our family, assets, and overall lives change.

Gaps can be easy to overlook as the insurance premiums come due each year, and the easiest thing to do is pay it and move on with the stresses and concerns of day-to-day life. Despite that, there are a few situations when it is especially important to confirm you are adequately covered and ensure the premium is reasonable.

  • Teenage drivers or children moving out of the household
  • A claim has been filed causing premiums to increase
  • Substantial change in assets can happen all at once or slowly over time

 

These are just a few examples that could prompt someone to reevaluate insurance coverage. A popular rule of thumb is to review personal policies every three years to ensure that they are keeping up-to-date with our lives, and the prices are inline with what other companies are offering.

Your financial advisor can help in this process and work with local insurance agents to obtain the quotes and offer unbiased advice on the benefits or drawbacks of each policy proposal.

Many times, if it has been years since the last review, there can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual savings for an equal or better policy.

Property & casualty insurance is too often an overlooked planning area as many of us simply renew and accept gradual premium increases. Having an advisor review your existing policies to discover any coverage gaps or opportunities to reduce cost can provide real value to your financial plan. Whether a caveman could do this process could be debated, but the fact that this is one of the least challenging ways to take control of our financial lives better cannot. If you would like an independent review of your existing coverage, please let us know. We’re here to help.