So when is it important to contact your insurance agent with these life changes?
Auto Insurance: While this can be many factors a few important ones are vehicles and household members.
- On a nice Saturday afternoon you end up at the dealership to just “browse” the vehicles on the lot. A nice salesman talks with you. You go for a test drive. Before you know it you’re driving home in a new shiny vehicle.
While you’re making the deal, the salesman tells you not to worry about contacting your insurance agent. He’ll call them for you.
But most agencies will not make changes to your policy without your confirmation. Barr’s Insurance follows this practice for your security; we’ll only ever make changes to your policy once you tell us it’s okay. We cannot confirm with the salesman what coverage you want on that vehicle or if you have a need for things such as loan/lease gap coverage on the vehicle (see later blog).
Most likely what will happen is the dealership will contact the agency then we will be calling you to confirm. It’s important that you contact your agent back so coverage will not be compromised.
Please keep in mind that salesman are not licensed insurance professionals; they will tell you that you have so many days to contact, which may not always be the case. Your policy coverages at the time of the purchase will determine the length of time you have coverage on newly acquired vehicles, so it is important to call as soon as possible.
It is better that your agent be notified twice, rather than not at all.
- It is not uncommon these days for your grown child to move back into your home or a family friend to stay with you for an extended period of time. Every company has different procedures for household members of driving age to be listed on your insurance policy.
Why’s this a big deal?
Even though that person may have their own vehicle and insurance, if they are living in your house they are still likely at some point in time drive your vehicle.
You have their car parked in and they just need to run down the road for a gallon of milk. Rather than bothering you to move the vehicle, they can just grab your keys and go real quick. If an accident happens at that time, coverage could possibly be declined for undisclosed information.
A lot of times, listing this person on your policy may not have an effect on your rate at all. So, it is important to notify your agent just to make sure any changes aren’t needed.
Homeowners Insurance: Reporting updates and upgrades
- You recently have done a lot of work to your home. New roof, furnace, or updated to a circuit breaker. While this would not change the amount of coverage you need, you may be eligible to get discounts for these upgrades. This may also open the door for your coverage to be eligible with other companies.
- You enclose a porch, add a bathroom, upgrade your kitchen, finish your basement, or add an addition. Any of these scenarios most likely will result in your coverage amount on the house (known as Coverage A/Dwelling coverage) needing to be increased. If you do not increase this coverage you are possibly open to a spiral of events in the event of a partial loss or total loss.
While insurance can be scary, it is important to always keep your insurance in mind when any life change happens.
A simple call to your agent can let your mind rest easy.
As your agent, we are here to evaluate your insurance needs. Always review your yearly packet of coverages. Not only look at the premium amount. While the yearly premium is important, it can be minuscule in importance if a claim were to happen. Coverage is first and foremost in importance.
Whether you are an existing Barr’s Insurance customer or want to have your coverage reviewed as a new customer please give one of our licensed insurance professionals a call today or visit www.barrsinsurance.com.
~Kerri Yashinski, Personal Lines Account Manager