|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
Even though home insurance is supposed to protect you from natural disasters and other accidents, it can sometimes leave you high and dry when you're at your most vulnerable. You might wonder, “How can this be?”
The important thing you need to understand about insurance is that it is a business, not unlike a clothing store or restaurant; and the main priority of any business is to make money. So, how does an insurance company make its money?
One sneaky way is by paying customers who file a claim less than they are entitled to. You might think, “Who would let that happen to them?” The truth is that plenty of people do, and not because they want to but because they don't know any better.
The insurance claims process can be a long and complicated one. There is so much to keep track of, not to mention the dozens of phone calls that have to be made. Combine that hassle with the fact that you've just been displaced from your home, and you can see how easy it is to inadvertently allow the insurance company to get one over on you.
However, homeowners are not completely powerless when it comes time to file a claim. Public adjusters are professionals who work in the same industry as the insurance companies. What's the difference between them and the guys who work for the insurance companies? Public adjusters work for you, the homeowner.
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
At this point, you might be wondering, “Do I need a public adjuster to help me deal with the insurance company or is this something I can handle on my own?” To answer this question, you have to ask yourself a few others:
- Do you have the time to devote hours upon hours to the claims process?
- Do you have a family to take care after a disaster?
- Do you still have work and other responsibilities to look after?
Once you start thinking about all the things you'll have to handle after a flood, fire or other disaster, the question “do I need a public adjuster?” will quickly turn into “where can I find one?
Among other things, public adjusters will handle the arduous process of talking and negotiating with your insurance company. As they know how these companies work, they won't be pushed around, and they definitely won't fall for any of their gimmicks.
The result is that you are awarded all of the money that you are entitled to so that you may rebuild your home and your life.
While it's not a requirement that you hire a public adjuster when filing an insurance claim, it's definitely a good idea to take advantage of their expert services. Not only will you reduce your stress levels, you'll ensure that you and your family receive a fair judgment from the insurance company. Remember, this is the money that is going to put a new roof over your family's head, so it's not something that you should take lightly.
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|