Insurance resolutions to keep in 2017

All too often Michiganders purchase an insurance policy and simply forget about it. If it is your Michigan auto insurance policy you probably just throw your proof of insurance in your glove compartment and move on with your life. While insurance may not be the most exciting topic, it is important to understand what you are purchasing.

This article written by Lacie Glover at Nerd Wallet provides some useful tips to get your insurance in shape for 2017.

10 smart insurance resolutions for 2017

Insurance is a financial safety net for when life just doesn’t go your way, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it when things are going well.

As an insurance agent I completely agree with the advice given in this article. Here are a few recommendations:

After a fire or natural disaster, you want the insurance claim process to go as smoothly as possible. Making a list of items in your home before a disaster occurs helps guarantee you won’t forget to claim anything, but 48% of homeowners say they don’t have an inventory, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

All too often people are left scrambling in the event of a claim. It is always best to be prepared ahead of time.

The key to making a claim is understanding your policy. For auto and home insurance, look for the policy’s declarations page. For health insurance, look for the summary of benefits.

Make sure you understand the limits and deductibles of each policy, along with the copayments and coinsurance for health insurance.

If you smoke, your insurers want you to quit. Both health and life insurance typically cost less for nonsmokers, and your health plan might even help by paying for counseling and medication to help you quit.

If you’re shopping for life insurance, you need to be smoke-free for at least a year to get nonsmoking rates, says Robert Wolfe, managing director of United Capital, a financial advising firm.

Bad credit may be having a bigger impact on your car insurance bill than you realize. Credit history can impact your car insurance rates more than your driving record, according to Consumer Reports. Only California, Hawaii and Massachusetts ban the practice.

The worse your credit, “the higher the risk your insurer sees you as,” Wolfe says.

Many consumers are upset about the fact that their credit history plays a role in what they ultimately pay for car insurance. The reason this is considered is because multiple independent studies have been conducted that proved people with poor credit are more likely to follow an insurance claim. Many insurance companies have even stated that the greatest tool they have for predicting risk is a person’s credit history.

If you don’t have comprehensive coverage and your car is stolen, you’ll have to buy another car with your own money.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Out of all cooking fires, unattended cooking was by far the leading cause.

Letting your life insurance beneficiaries know where to claim money if you die seems simple enough. But $8.8 billion in life insurance benefits are unclaimed nationwide, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Part of the reason is that those who are owed money don’t know about the policies or where to find them. Your beneficiaries don’t need a policy in hand to make a claim; they only need to know which insurer you bought from.

When is the last time you reviewed the beneficiary information on your life insurance policy? Do your beneficiaries even know that you have a life insurance policy? All too often life events occur that should trigger a change to your beneficiary information. Unfortunately, many people simply forget to update their policy.

To read the full article be sure to visit: 10 smart insurance resolutions for 2017

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