While insurance doesn’t make for riveting conversation around the family dinner table, it is important that you explore the insurance protection you need to safeguard everyone.
Preparing today will benefit your family by ensuring they have adequate medical coverage and financial coverage in the event of a tragedy. There are also some factors to think about when it comes to homeowners and car insurance, now that you’re building your life with children. Here's what you should know about shopping for insurance, and ways you can save money on your insurance premiums.
When buying a home, most mortgage lenders require you to carry homeowners insurance. Before you get a quote, you may want to ask the current homeowner to pull a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report for the house. This report outlines the insurance claims for the property for the last seven years and will give you a good idea of any major risks that may increase your premiums. Homeowners can request a free copy of their CLUE report online.
Protecting your house and your assets is one component of home insurance, but there are other parts to consider, too. As a homeowner, you are liable for things that happen on your property, so it’s important to obtain enough coverage to protect you in the event someone gets injured on your property. Contact TCU Insurance with any specific questions.
Also, if you’re considering any home improvement projects costing $5,000 or more, alert your insurance company to update your policy and ensure adequate coverage.
As your family grows, so will your need for a larger, safer vehicle. Your insurance premiums can change drastically based on the year, make and model of the vehicle you choose, so make sure you research all the possibilities and the impact on your budget before you drive it off the lot.
You’ll also want to consider the appropriate coverage to protect you financially in the event of an accident. Ask your TCU Insurance agent to explain the details of your liability coverage, including its limits (the maximum amount your liability policy pays), what your policy pays to other parties for damages to their vehicle from an accident you caused, as well as medical payments, personal injury protection and underinsured motorist coverage, which covers hit and runs or people without insurance. You’ll also want to ask about the rental reimbursement, towing and labor coverage.
Health insurance policies are complicated enough when it’s just you. But when you’re trying to determine the best options for your spouse and children, the process can become overwhelming. It’s worth your time to analyze the costs and benefits of any employer-sponsored health care plans available to you and your spouse.
Finding the right plan is paramount as your children are born and grow. For budgetary purposes, you might want to look into health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow you to set aside pre-tax money for various medical and daycare expenses.
When you were single with no children, life insurance likely was one of the last things you thought about. Now with a spouse and dependents, you’ll need a strategy that accounts for all the income you and your spouse earn, plus all the expenses that come with raising your children.
Considering the possibility of death for you and your spouse is never pleasant. But choosing a life insurance policy that takes care of your survivors is vital to long-term planning. You’ll have a choice between whole life insurance and term life insurance. Whole life insurance policies are more expensive, but they build cash value over time. A term life insurance policy is less expensive when you are younger, and the premiums increase with age. Our Life Insurance calculator can help factor in your current lifestyle to see how much you will need.
How to Save on Your Insurance Policies
There are several ways you can get a discount on your insurance policies. Here are some of the ways you can save money:
Ask your insurance agent if they offer a discount for insuring your home and vehicle with the same company.
Typically, homes with alarm systems, fire suppression systems, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks are eligible for discounts. For auto insurance, having automatic seat belts, air bags on both sides, anti-lock brakes, rearview cameras and other safety features may help reduce insurance premiums. And for health insurance, you can keep your premiums lower with healthier life choices, such as quitting smoking, keeping your cholesterol low and maintaining a healthy weight.
Structuring your insurance coverage to ensure adequate protection is a complicated undertaking. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a wealth of information on all manner of insurance topics for families. Conduct your research, and then contact one of our knowledgeable agents insurance agents at TCU Insurance. We’re local, independent and committed to customizing the right plan for you.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and doesn’t constitute tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult with an attorney or tax professional for guidance.