Crises remind us that life isn’t always predictable. That’s exactly the purpose of insurance: to protect us from unforeseen misfortunes that may come our way. While there are many ways to save money during the pandemic, eliminating or cutting back on your insurance may cost you a lot more down the road should you ever need to use your coverage. Here’s a rundown of the major types of insurance policies and how they can protect you in the event of a crisis.
These policies typically cover structure, contents and liability. It’s important to understand your deductibles, which can vary for different triggering events (like hurricanes) and exclusions (like floods). Also, coverage for certain types of items is often limited or excluded in homeowners policies, such as jewelry, electronics and antiques — although you can usually purchase specific riders for them.
If you don’t own a house, renters and condo policies are also available. Renters insurance accounts for possessions as the policyholder does not own the actual building. Meanwhile, condo policies are often described as covering your dwelling “from the walls in” since the policyholder does not own the living space, and is only responsible for a percentage of the common spaces. However, condo insurance can also provide coverage for assessments levied against owners for repairs or upgrades to common elements such as a roof, hallway or elevator. Both types of insurance can provide liability protection, so read your policy to confirm the specifics of your coverage.
Your auto insurance includes coverage for collision and comprehensive damage (incidents such as vandalism or falling debris) and personal injury. Note that your credit score can affect how much you pay for car insurance. AutoPayPlus offers access to your TransUnion VantageScore and credit monitoring to protect your credit. Bundling your auto and homeowners insurance can also help lower costs.
These policies pay a premium to a designated beneficiary in the event of the insured’s death. It can be particularly important to have an insurance policy for the primary breadwinner of the family. There are two main types of life insurance policies: A term life policy insures you for a certain amount of time (20 years, for example) for a certain amount of money. A whole life policy, on the other hand, provides coverage over your entire life and builds up cash value over time.
This additional coverage picks up where auto and homeowners policies typically leave off, providing additional liability coverage and an added layer of protection.
This insurance is provided by a private insurer, through the Affordable Care Act, or by a government program like Medicare. It’s critical that you understand your deductibles (what you have to pay before your insurance starts paying), the limits to your coverage and any exclusions to your policy. The “savings” from a cheap policy may mean little if you have to pay a $10,000 deductible before receiving benefits.
Other motor coverage
Boat, RV and motorcycle insurance is similar to basic automotive insurance and covers these types of vehicles. However, be sure to ask about coverage for contents of an RV or boat and any special equipment installed onboard.
This insurance protects businessowners for liability, claims and property losses. In addition, some policies cover business interruption — an area that will grow in importance as pandemic uncertainty hangs over companies.
There are ways to save on your insurance without sacrificing benefits. Many carriers offer discounts for bundling several of their policies together. Additionally, you should review with your agent any discounts you may qualify for, like a monitored security system discount for homeowners insurance or a safe driver or good student discount for auto insurance.
Finally, in times of crisis, it’s very important to pay your premiums on time to avoid policy cancellation or lapses in coverage. During the pandemic, when days seem to run together, it can be easy to forget bill due dates. But an automatic payment service like AutoPayPlus can schedule all of your payments and automatically deduct them from your checking account so you never miss a payment or get hit with a late fee. Call (800) 894-5000 or click here to sign up today.
10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Insurance
- Review your policies. If there are changes to your personal circumstances, such as an increase in assets, you should adjust your coverage accordingly. Review policies yearly or when your circumstances change.
- Bundle policies to save. Ask your agent if having the same carrier for both your homeowners and auto insurance can earn you a discount on your premiums.
- Maintain good credit. With credit monitoring through AutoPayPlus and on-time payments of your bills and debts, you’ll protect your credit and help save on your insurance.
- Take an inventory of your home. Use your smartphone to take pictures or videos of all your possessions as documentation in the event of a loss.
- Add security features for discounts. Monitored fire and theft security systems can help you save on your homeowner’s policy. So can a car alarm system on your auto insurance.
- Store policy documents securely. Keep policy documents in a fire-safe box or backed up to the cloud in the event your home and files are damaged in a fire, flood or other natural disaster.
- Protect yourself from assessments. Some condo policies cover assessments levied on unit owners. See if your policy includes this important coverage.
- Consider dropping collision. If your car is more than 10 years old, it may make sense to drop your collision coverage. But, be sure to discuss this option with your agent first.
- Never miss a premium payment. Enroll your insurance policy payments in AutoPayPlus bill pay so you never have to worry about cancellations because you forgot to pay.
- Check for any COVID-19 insurance rebates. Many auto insurers are giving refunds to policy holders. If you haven’t received one, call your agent and ask.