Getting Back In The Insurance Groove

This Is A Great Time To Check Your Insurance Coverages

The excitement and spontaneity of summer is fading in our collective rearview mirror.  Families around the country (and world!) are getting back into the groove of non-summer life.  Kids are heading back to school or off to college. Vacations are being planned, but no longer executed. New locations are slowly becoming home. The anticipation of crisp fall air is accompanied by the comfortable cadence of life’s routines.

Before you get too settled, it’s a great time to conduct a quick “insurance fitness” survey: Make sure recent changes or moves have been accounted for in this important component of your finances. Have you recently PCS’d? Retired? Bought or rented a home? Bought or leased a car? Added or dropped a driver? Inherited a valuable coin collection? All these events factor into proper insurance and coverage needs.

Check the list below for any insurance gaps you may need to fill.

Life

A new mortgage, a completed education, transition to retirement or a new job could all mean changes to the life insurance you have or should have. Spend a few minutes with a life insurance calculator like the one on usaa.com to help you answer the most important life insurance question: Do you have enough?

Auto

Auto insurance is mandatory in most states, but what’s required varies. Are you adequately covered? For instance, the more financially established you become, the more your need for liability coverage will increase. In other words, if you’re sued for “everything you’re worth,” there’s more at risk. The type of car you drive, how much you drive it, whether you have other drivers on your policy and the age of those drivers also may impact your needs and what you pay. You should review your coverage each year to make sure it still fits your needs.

Homeowners or Renters

Like auto insurance, adequate homeowners and renters insurance is all about the types and levels of coverage you have. Cheaper isn’t always better, and the value of your home doesn’t necessarily equate to what it would cost to rebuild.  Suffer a loss without sufficient coverage in place, and those low premiums you’ve paid all those years won’t seem like much of a bargain. If you don’t own a home, renters insurance offers an affordable way to protect your belongings in the event of a robbery or natural disaster. And both types of coverage offer critical liability protection if you’re sued for something that happens where you live.

Valuable Personal Property

Whether for collections from an eventful summer or family heirlooms, this type of insurance covers valuables such as jewelry, guns, coins and the like that may not be covered by homeowners or renters coverage or that are subject to limits or deductibles that could leave you in a bind.

Umbrella Liability

This coverage allows you to cost-effectively add an extra layer of liability protection. Sold in increments of $1 million, its primary purpose is to back up the liability coverage included in your homeowners/renters and auto policies.

Long-Term Care

Depending on your age (or the age of your parents), long-term care insurance might not even be on your radar at the moment, but it should be eventually. This insurance can cover custodial care in your home, an assisted-living facility or a nursing home should you need it. There’s a plan available through the government or you can purchase it individually. What you can’t do is expect Medicare, TRICARE or TRICARE for Life to cover the costs associated with this type of care.

As you return to your routine, take a comprehensive look at all of your insurance coverage to ensure it remains a viable tool to help you avoid a financial disaster.

About the Author

JJ Montanaro
Joseph “J.J.” Mon­ta­naro is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ prac­ti­tioner at USAA with more than 19 years of expe­ri­ence in the finan­cial ser­vices indus­try. JJ also served in the U.S. Army for six years on active duty, and in 2009, he retired as a lieu­tenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.