When your life changes oftentimes your insurance needs to change, too. Yet it’s not always clear what kind of insurance protection fits you, your family or your business. What a family of six needs is much different than what a single 20-something needs. That’s why at ERIE, an insurance agent is there to help you get everything squared away.
Here are six questions you should ask your agent:
1. My family is growing and changing. What coverage should I consider?
Life insurance is something most families need. The primary reason most people buy life insurance is to protect their loved ones from the financial burden after an unexpected death.
A typical homeowners policy covers personal belongings and furnishings up to certain policy limits. For higher-valued items, such as a diamond ring, a rare piece of art or expensive electronic equipment, you may want to expand your protection with higher policy limits or extra coverage.
If a teenager in your home is learning how to drive, you’ll definitely need additional auto insurance once the teen is licensed.
2. Do I need additional insurance if I’m remodeling or adding on to my home?
In some cases, remodeling projects can increase your home’s value. If they do, you’ll want to adjust your insurance coverage so your home’s reconstruction cost is fully protected. Your insurance agent can help advise you in this situation. He or she can also let you know more about the kinds of insurance a contractor should have in place before work begins.
3. I’m fresh out of school and new to the workforce. What coverage do I need?
If you’ve left home and are renting an apartment, you’re no longer covered by your parents’ homeowners policy. Instead, you’ll need renters insurance to cover your belongings and more.
When it comes to auto insurance, you may be tempted to buy a bare bones policy to save money. That’s a risky move because it may not give you enough protection. If your insurance policy doesn’t cover all the damages, your savings and future wages could be at stake.
If you have student loans or debts, ask an insurance agent about life insurance. It may not be something you want to think about, but you want enough life insurance coverage to cover final expenses like a funeral service if something were to happen to you.
If someone like a parent cosigned on your loan, life insurance can help them avoid getting stuck with the bill. The good news? Life insurance is far cheaper than most people think—and that’s especially true when you’re young and healthy.
4. What coverage do I need for my home-based business?
From inventory to libel issues to customers visiting your home, home-based businesses definitely need coverage. Depending on the nature of your home-based business, you may need a simple endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy or a new policy.
5. A friend was sued after a car accident. How can I make sure I’m protected against something like this?
Your insurance policy already includes liability coverage, yet state minimums are almost never enough for most drivers. Having too little liability coverage puts you and your assets at risk.
Personal Catastrophe Liability (PCL) coverage (commonly known as “umbrella” insurance) provides an extra layer of liability protection over and above your auto and homeowners policies in the event that you (or a covered family member) are sued. For most people, an extra $1 million in coverage costs less than $20 a month. Your insurance agent can review your auto insurance policy limits and tell you more about PCL.
6. How can I save money on my insurance?
Nearly all insurers offer price breaks on coverage based on having a safe driving record and bundling your auto and homeowners coverage. Talk to your ERIE agent to find out more. There are also other ways to lower your bill.
It’s important, though, to be cautious about selecting an insurance company based solely on price. Instead, seek out companies with reputations for excellent customer service, strong financial standing and a reputation for handling claims quickly and fairly.
Source: Carolyn Sennett, ERIESENSE, www.erieinsurance.com