Getting an insurance policy can be a smart decision for protecting your financial assets. However, too often consumers make the mistake of buying either too much or too little insurance for their needs.
Avoid making these four common insurance miscalculations to better ensure you find the coverage that’s right for you at a price you can afford.
Not buying the right amount of coverage
While it can be tempting to skimp on insurance to keep your monthly premiums down, neglecting your insurance needs might mean you’d have to pay much, much more if you were to file a claim, whether to fix your car or home after an accident or to pay for an unexpected hospital visit. Similarly, if you have a spouse or dependents, don’t just select the cheapest option for life insurance; you should take the time to calculate how much it would take to cover your obligations, such as your mortgage or your children’s college tuition, should something happen to you. Consider working with an insurance professional to determine the best coverage for your needs and finances.
One way to reduce your cost for insurance is by raising your deductible, or the dollar amount you’d be responsible for on a claim before your insurance starts to pay. If you go this route, a good rule of thumb is to put aside enough cash to cover your deductible in case of an emergency.
Bundling insurance also offers potential savings—many insurance companies offer a discount if you purchase multiple policies, such as for your car, home, or life insurance.
Selecting too high or too low a deductible
When deciding on insurance, one choice you must make is whether you’d rather pay less up front by having a higher deductible or if you’d prefer to pay more in the beginning and have a lower deductible instead. While opting for a higher deductible could lower your monthly premiums, doing so isn’t always the best choice; you may wind up with more out-of-pocket, claim-related expenses before your insurance will cover your costs. Alternatively, a lower deductible may mean your insurer will cover more of your claim-related costs, but you’ll likely have to pay a higher insurance rate. When considering which option is right for you, compute a dollar amount you can afford month-to-month along with how much claim-related costs you’re comfortable with handling on your own.
Underestimating your insurance needs
Another misstep people make is underestimating how much insurance they require. For instance, college students or those who rent an apartment often don’t think about getting renter’s insurance, but, depending on their specific circumstances, they may need it. If their belongings were to be stolen or damaged, their repair or replacement costs would fall entirely on them. Similarly, homeowners might opt to only insure their home up to its real estate value; however, a better route is to choose coverage based on the home’s replacement value, or what the cost to rebuild it would be, which may be higher than market value.
Not updating your insurance
When you have major changes in your life, tweaking your coverage is likely the last thing on your mind. But failing to update your policies could be a costly misstep. Try to remember to contact your insurer any time your family status or size changes—like getting married or having a child, when your children reach milestones (including getting their driver’s license or going to college), and when you experience other life-changing events (like moving to a new home or remodeling). It’s also a good idea to look at your coverage at least once a year so you don’t miss policy updates that should be made. Not all life changes will result in higher premiums—some can lower them, including adding home safety features like a smoke or security alarm system, taking a defensive driving course, or exercising regularly.
If you remain vigilant and seek guidance from your insurance provider, you can protect yourself and your family effectively from all of life’s curveballs.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which insurance product(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to purchasing.
This article was prepared by ReminderMedia.
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