Part of growing up is recognizing and fulfilling personal goals and securing a stable lifestyle that meets your needs and the needs of your potential or growing family. Getting a job, buying a car, and purchasing a house are often milestones you’ll reach and there are many reasons why you should protect your home, car, and personal possessions with insurance coverage.
Insurance will provide you with the protection you need, but many people aren’t sure where to start and how to choose the right type of insurance for their individual needs. Rest assured; feeling overwhelmed is completely normal.
If you need help navigating the world of insurance, start with the basics. Here are five tips you should consider:
- Understand why insurance is important
Think of insurance as a way to manage risk. For a monthly fee, or premium, you enlist the expertise of an insurance agent to help you identify your potential risk and provide you with the right insurance coverage for certain expenses you could incur if you suffer a loss. Here are a few examples of insurance you should consider at various milestones in your life:
- Car insurance covers repairs, medical costs, and legal expenses if you’re involved in a collision.
- Home insurance is required by mortgage lenders to verity your home is protected, and provides you with coverage if your home is damaged by such things as fire, wind, or hail.
- Business insurance protects the valuable assets of your business.
- Identity theft protection provides access to comprehensive identity protection services.
- Umbrella insurance provides coverage where your basic Home and Highway® coverage ends by giving you a large additional layer of liability insurance.
- Do your research and brush up on your insurance vocabulary
Just like any job interview, it’s important to familiarize yourself with industry terminology and have some knowledge of insurance before engaging in a discussion. Do some research on insurance agents in your area, recommended insurance companies, and key terminology that may apply to you and your current life situation.
- Determine what kind of coverage you need
While it’s your agent’s job to recommend the best insurance for your expressed needs, it’s a good idea to bring a general outline of what you think you’ll need to your initial meeting. For example, if you’re a homeowner, you might look into homeowners insurance, flood insurance, and insurance for your personal possessions.
If you own a business, you might consider business insurance, identity theft coverage, and workers’ compensation insurance, to name a few.
Think about your insurance needs in advance so you can accurately express what types of protection you may need.
- Find an insurance provider to meet your needs
One of the key considerations in selecting appropriate insurance coverage is choosing a company and agent to help you. It’s important, however, to first understand the difference between an independent agent and a captive agent.
Captive agents represent one insurance company and offer only that company’s policies. Independent agents, on the other hand, have no exclusive relationship with any one insurance company. Independent agents offer a wide range of products from multiple insurance companies and are able to offer guidance on a variety of products, coverage options, and prices. Independent agents don’t work for one particular insurance company; instead, they work for you.
- Find the right policy
Meeting with a knowledgeable insurance agent is the first step in helping you find the right policy for your needs. Once you establish what your coverage needs are and identify the level of protection you need, your insurance agent should be able to provide you with a comprehensive policy recommendation.
You should meet with your agent each year to review changes in your protection needs and to alter your policy to reflect changes in your home, auto, or family life.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts; please share them in the box below.