While nearly everyone THINKS they are wisely protected, few actually are. Don’t risk leaving yourself (and your family) exposed to financial loss or purchase coverages you don’t need. Here are some tips on how to get wise with insurance.
Wise idea #1: Buy value, not price
When you think about buying auto insurance, do you only think about price? If so, you may risk not being appropriately covered for your needs.
For example, when you’re in the market to buy a car, you don’t just think about price—you consider safety ratings, technical features, gas mileage, and so much more. You make a decision based on value. The same should go for your insurance.
Say you find a company online that could save you $400 a year. That looks good at first glance, but it’s important to consider the value of the policy, just like you do for a car. Ask questions: Does it have enough liability coverage to protect my assets? Will a low liability limit make me ineligible for umbrella insurance? As your car is a significant financial investment, would it have enough collision and comprehensive coverage to protect you from financial hardship if your car is seriously damaged? Once you have the answers, you may decide that saving $33 per month wouldn’t really be any savings at all.
To find the right balance between cost and protection, we recommend buying auto insurance using three general principles:
- Buy the right amount of protection for your situation.
- Buy more liability protection rather than less.
- Choose the highest deductible amount that you can comfortably afford.
In a recent survey, 68% said they have purchased insurance policies not fully understanding what they are paying for.* Let our Personal Insurance Consultants help you evaluate your insurance needs.
Your insurance needs are not the same throughout your life nor are they the same as your neighbors’, which is why we recommend doing an annual insurance review. Member Benefits’ Personal Insurance Consultants can help you evaluate your options.
For example, if you’ve gotten married, you may qualify for a discount on your auto insurance and also need to update your home insurance. If you have a baby, you may need more coverage to keep your family secure and explore your life insurance needs as well. And if you’ve made major improvements to your home, such as a bathroom or kitchen remodel, you risk being underinsured if you don’t report the changes to your insurance company. Don’t forget to count new furniture, appliances, etc., into your new coverage needs.
Wise idea #2: Maximize your insurance dollar
If you’re going to spend money on insurance, get the most you can get for your dollar.
Let’s say you have $130 to spend on insurance. You have two choices:
- Use the $130 to cover the possible loss of $150–$400, or;
- Use the $130 to cover a possible loss of $150,000.
Obviously B is the better value. But in reality, most people do A. Why? People tend to think about risks they have experience with or can conceive of, like the fender bender or losing your mobile phone. The risk of catastrophic events is often dismissed because they happen less frequently. However, they can be far more financially devastating.
The wisely protected…
- Purchases insurance coverage based on needs and value rather than simply the lowest price.
- Maximizes their insurance dollar by optimizing coverage and deductible options to create a good balance between protection and cost.
- Regularly re-evaluates their situation and policy to ensure appropriate protection for all they’ve worked hard for.
Wise idea #3: Insure for the catastrophic
It’s the real reason we have insurance.
Umbrella insurance is overlooked by a lot of people, yet most financial planners consider it a must-have. Many people think it’s only for the wealthy and that it’s expensive insurance to carry, but it’s actually very affordable.
Do you have a car? Teenage driver? Watercraft? Use the Internet? These are four of the biggest causes of liability losses. You don’t have to do crazy things to be at risk—and you don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. And keep in mind, scheduling items like electronics, collectibles, and jewelry isn’t a bad thing, but if you are doing that at the expense of coverage for the catastrophic loss, it isn’t the best use of your insurance dollar.
In a recent survey, 76% agreed that the experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic has made them more concerned with protecting the things that are important to them.* Part of being financially secure is making sure you have the right protection for yourself and for your family.
Many people don’t include insurance in their financial planning, but in fact, having the right insurance protection is an important part of your overall financial health and well-being.
Not sure if you’re wisely protected?
Let us take a look at your needs and your existing coverage. If you’re already wisely protected, we’ll tell you! If not, we’ll recommend changes and coach you to be a better insurance consumer.