New Years is a chance to reflect on your past and plan for the future. It’s that time of the year when we set goals for ourselves and speculate on the improvements we want to make in our lives. Often, these goals are a little unrealistic. “I want to lose 30 pounds before summer,” or “I’m going to learn to speak another language before next year.” Is it any wonder most New Year’s resolutions end up forgotten!
This year though, why don’t you try something different? How about you make a few resolutions that will improve the quality of your life, provide stability for your future, and best of all, are easy enough to accomplish that there is almost no way you can fail?
Sounds good? Okay. Here are your realistic insurance resolutions for the New Year!
No. 1: I Will Catalogue My Property
You’ve just had a fire, or the basement flooded, or you’ve been hit with a tornado, quick – tell me everything you lost! In detail. Can you provide receipts? Proof of possession?
Insurance is designed to provide stability in your life. It’s your promise that even if the worst should happen, you’ll be able to rebuild and reclaim your previous quality of life. But that can be difficult without proper records documenting what you currently own to compare against what you’ve lost.
In a perfect world, we’d all keep every single receipt for each major purchase. We’d copy down the serial numbers on our laptops, keep documents on our appliances, and store everything in one of those fireproof safes. In the world we live in though, we know that isn’t just isn’t the case for most of us.
Even so, you can still make a inventory of what you own. Just take out your cell phone camera and take a few pictures of your belongings. Go room by room, documenting your furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and so on. Snap a few pics of how your home and backyard look, your vehicle, and any other valuable property while you’re at it. It might not be as good as receipts, but a comprehensive photolog of your property can still be a huge help recovering after a disaster and settling any potential disputes that may come up.
No. 2: I Will Call My Broker
When was the last time you spoke with your broker? Chances are, it’s been too long. We tend to think of insurance as a static thing, a fixed bill you pay every month. But, that isn’t the case. Your insurance reflects the conditions in your life, the risks you face, and the ways you’ve mitigated them. It’s entirely possible that you’re missing out on savings you’re simply not aware of.
That’s why it is always a good idea to check in with your broker now and then. They’ll be able to help you identify when your conditions have changed and if you’re eligible for any savings. They can even help with suggestions on actions you could take to lower your premiums. It never hurts to have the occasional coaching session with a professional.
This is especially helpful for growing families. If you have teenagers that are just about ready to get to their G1 license, or college-bound young adults about to strike out on their own for the first time, it’s worth checking in with your broker for any potential deals they could benefit from. You may be able to extend your coverage to them at a much cheaper rate than they could get on their own, or find package deals that will get them the protection they need as they take the next step in life. But only if you talk to someone who would know, so call your broker!
No. 3: I Will Stop Leaving Things to Chance
We all have a few things we just never seem to get around to. Replacing that creaky old door on the basement, learning how to play bass, organizing all those tangled up Christmas lights, you know – the permanent residents on the To-Do list. But, some things are just too important to procrastinate on.
The New Year is the perfect time to make sure you have the coverage you need. If you have something you know you should insure but haven’t, or something you think is probably covered under your existing policy but aren’t really sure, now is the time to fix that. Do you have any collections? A drawer full of old cards or a cabinet of figurines? That may be something you want to insure specifically. How about your shed full of tools? Sure, plenty of them are old, but replacing them would still be expensive. Are you sure they’re covered under your existing homeowners policy?
It only takes a few minutes to go over your policy with your broker, find out if there are any gaps you should fill, and put that nagging sense of uncertainty behind you. This year, give yourself the gift of certainty and tackle those random outliers and edge cases with your broker! We’re here to chat.