Financial Resolutions: 5 Things to Ask Your Insurance Agent in 2019

December 31, 2018
Written by C&S Insurance

money resolutionsAre you planning to lose weight in 2019? Take up yoga? Watch less television (not including The Bachelor, obviously)?

These are all admirable goals, but the first self-improvement items on your list should be financial resolutions: simple, clear-cut steps to protect your financial wellbeing, heading into the new year.

Best place to start? Contact your local Massachusetts insurance agent! Our experts are here to explain key topics that absolutely do affect your wallet—from home insurance, to car insurance, to umbrella and life insurance coverage. Here’s a quick summary of how an independent insurance agent can work for you… for free!

When Should I Review My MA Home Insurance?

Too many people purchase their home insurance in a flurry of house-buying activities, and then forget that it’s there. Meanwhile, life changes. Insurance rates go up and down. You realize your home and your cars are still insured through different carriers. (Ughh… Are they really?) Maybe you’ve acquired more stuff. Maybe you’ve replaced your second-hand furniture with expensive pieces from Pottery Barn.

It’s very possible one or more of these circumstances could translate into big savings—or reveal different coverage needs—if you take the time to discuss them with an agent.

Take advantage of your post-holiday downtime this January, and resolve to speak with one of our agents: 508.339.2951—especially if you haven’t shopped for MA home insurance rates in a while.

Do I Need Gap Coverage?

Do you have a loan or a lease agreement on your car or truck? Did you purchase gap coverage to go with it? Lots of people who say “yes” to the first question, are still saying “no,” or “I don’t know” to the second. And that could mean a major financial problem if their vehicle is ever totaled in a collision. Here’s the scoop on gap insurance, which basically exists to pay the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

Important side note: the rates on gap insurance can vary a lot. Please don’t buy this protection straight from a car dealer. Dealerships often charge hundreds for gap insurance, whereas our team can add it to your policy for the cost of a tank of gas.

What Is Accident Forgiveness?

What is accident forgiveness? You probably already know the gist of this coverage, but maybe you’ve never taken time to explore it in detail. That’s an oversight worth correcting in 2019, because (for those who qualify) accident forgiveness can prevent expensive rate hikes after a rare mishap on the road. And contrary to popular belief, you won’t be signed up for accident forgiveness automatically.

Is accident forgiveness always worth buying? Nope. Again, depending on your carrier and your driving record, this particular endorsement may not make sense for you. But just like home insurance, your car insurance rates and terms are always worth reviewing on an annual basis.

Should I Have Umbrella Insurance?

We recently dedicated an entire blog post to umbrella insurance, because there are so many misconceptions about it. For one thing, it’s not just designed for super wealthy people. Anyone who owns a home or other sizable assets (including cash in the bank), should be thinking about how they’d be covered if an accident or liability claim ever resulted in a judgement against them.

Did you know, for example, that one in ten personal liability settlements adds up to $1 million or more? Considering most families’ liability coverage caps off at 500,000, umbrella insurance is a solution worth considering in 2019.

Can I Afford Life Insurance?

We know no one likes to think about death—least of all people in their twenties, thirties, and forties, who are perfectly healthy and crazy-busy taking care of their families. But, in fact, these folks are prime candidates for life insurance. If you’ve been putting off protection because it sounds confusing, pricey, or like something you already have through work, 2019 is the year to get solid answers from an expert. Come prepared to ask questions like:

  • How much coverage should I buy?
  • How long of a “term” do I need, to ensure my loved ones will be okay?
  • How does my current age and health affect my rate?
  • Don’t I already have life insurance through my work benefits?
  • Do I need to think about disability coverage, as well?

Bottom line: financial resolutions don’t have to be as difficult as giving up carbs. You might be happily surprised by what you learn from your insurance agent. And you’ll definitely be glad for the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve covered your bases. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2019!