This post is written by guest author, Dale Cooper.
Finding the right insurance policy is about getting smart coverage, not necessarily the most coverage. That’s where an insurance assessment comes in. During an insurance assessment, an agent will review your current coverage needs and design a policy that fits your lifestyle and budget. Here are a few components of a typical insurance assessment.
Determine the coverage options you need
Whether you’re buying car insurance, homeowner’s insurance or boat insurance, the insurance assessment process will be similar. For car insurance customers, your agent will suggest coverage options based on the make, model, year and market value of your car, as well as several other factors. For example, if you live in a “no-fault” state, part of the insurance assessment will likely include a recommendation for personal injury protection coverage. The insurance assessment may also include removing coverage options that you don’t need. If your vehicle is worth less than your insurance deductible, the agent may recommend carrying only liability coverage.
Identify insurance discounts
One you and your agent have determined the insurance coverage options you need, it’s time to save money. Most insurance providers offer discounts for things like bundled policies and military service. A few examples of auto insurance discounts include:
- Accident free: Staying accident-free can reduce your monthly insurance payments.
- Multi-vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, insuring them both through the same provider can reduce your cost.
- Good student: Student drivers who maintain a high grade point average may be eligible for an insurance discount.
If you qualify for one or more of your provider’s available discounts, you could reduce your insurance costs by hundreds of dollars every year.
Discuss recent or upcoming life events
Another important step in the insurance assessment process is to identify recent or upcoming life events that may affect your coverage needs. For example, your life insurance policy may need to be altered if you’ve just gotten married. And moving to a new state will require a reevaluation of your car insurance coverage. A few other life events that could affect your coverage options are:
- Buying or selling a car, boat, RV or motorcycle
- Starting a business
- Changing careers
- Planning for retirement
- Starting a family
- Renting a home or apartment
Significant changes in your life can help determine the right insurance coverage for you, so make sure to mention them during your insurance assessment.
An insurance assessment helps you and your agent find the combination of coverage options you need at a price that fits your budget. To make sure you get the best possible policy, request insurance assessments from several providers and compare the insurance quotes and coverage options. You may want to get a few online insurance quotes first, and then request more complete insurance assessments from providers that offer the best coverage options.