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Don't Forget Your Check-Up

A vital aspect of personal health is the concept of preventive care by scheduling regular check-ups with the doctor, dentist, and other medical professionals. The objective of the check-up is to verify that an individual is not incurring changes that affect his or her well being. With that thought in mind, I would like to suggest that insurance policy holders should also consider the necessity of a renewal "check up" for coverage maintenance.

Check-ups in insurance are often referred to as policy or file reviews, and can be scheduled with the agent of record to go over the current coverage limits and options as well as providing the insurance carrier with any changes in your risk exposures. From an agency experience, most clients simply do not remember or do not realize they should contact their agency with coverage changes, so a policy review helps reveal those items that should be changed just as some diagnostic tests would reveal health changes. Some areas where change directly impacts the policy coverage and the policy contract are:

1) Named Insured - This change could be necessary in the event of marriage, divorce, or death. Another change that would be necessary would be in the event that a Trust has been executed for your properties and assets. The trust is technically a change in ownership and makes it necessary to submit a change in your coverage.

2) Newly Acquired Assets - A policy renewal is a good time to be certain your coverage levels are adequate for what you would need to restore your property back to the status you enjoyed before a loss. These values often need to be tweaked to increase building values if any additions or upgrades have been made; contents coverage may be adjusted to provide for new personal items; other structures coverage increases may be necessary with such items as fencing, pools, decks, and porches; liability endorsements may become necessary if a home-based business is started; and the list goes on of various updates that can be necessary from one policy period to the next.

3) Loan Payoff - Although banks and loan companies are typically diligent about requesting a change to add their insurable interest, we do not usually receive a notice once a loan has been paid off. This may seem like a trivial detail but can often lead to confusion in the event of a claim, as the insurance company is required to list all parties of interest on a claim check. This often results in delays for both the company and the policy holder. For that reason, it is imperative to remove any Loss Payee when a loan has been satisfied. A policy review will often catch these types of changes.

These are just a few areas of concern that your agent will go over with you in your regular "check-up" appointment. If your health is worth the extra time and investment, shouldn't protecting your family and your properties deserve regular oversight to help in detecting problems and providing preventive maintenance on your coverage? Call us today to set up a time for an appointment; there is no co-pay for our professional services!

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