Insurance Can Be Complicated, But Only If You Let It Be

Insurance is one of those things that you don’t want but that you have to have.

Whether it be car insurance, life insurance, or property insurance, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly covered.  Part of this means to make sure that you’re getting the best coverage at the lowest rates.

One of the things I’ve heard about insurance is that you should shop all of your insurance around once per year.  I’ve seen other bloggers go so far as to schedule a personal day off of work to spend exclusively on their insurance. Just taking 30 minutes to get an auto owners insurance quote could save $.1000’s

So, it’s a pretty big deal!

I don’t go that far to review our insurance, but staying on top of costs and coverage are activities I definitely go through.  Here’s a few things that I do:

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Does Your Insurance Agent Make A Difference?

I never really gave much thought to who my insurance agent was.  I have been with Allstate since 1996 when my parents booted me off their plan following my college graduation.  At the time, they were the cheapest I could find with a company name I trusted.

They’ve provided good service and when I’ve comparison shopped my policies a couple times since, I’ve never found a deal convincing enough to leave.

When I first signed up, I was assigned an agent that was most likely closest to where I lived.  At some point when I was living in my condo in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, I got a letter stating that the agent I was with had retired and I was being assigned to a new agent that was the closest to where I lived.

Whatever, right?

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Having Health Insurance Is Hazardous To My Health!

As many of you know, we had a beautiful baby girl a month and a half ago.  As with any change, a new baby has meant that everything has changed.  While there are challenges, they’re all worth it for those beautiful moments that only a newborn can give you, a soft sigh, a little breath, or a touch of wonderfully soft skin.

One area that hasn’t been amazing has been the health insurance.  As with anything major, the cost of having a baby is pretty high.  There are insurance claims upon insurance claims.  The ironic part is that keeping on top of all the insurance claims have been a source of more stress than actually having a newborn!

Consider this:

Adding our baby was pretty simple.  HR walked me through the steps I would need to go through to add the baby to our insurance plan.  The plan wasn’t changing, since we were already on family coverage anyways, it was just adding her to the plan.

Read moreHaving Health Insurance Is Hazardous To My Health!

Annual Review Of Our Homeowners Insurance Policy

I got our renewal information from our insurance company for our homeowners insurance policy. I realized that it is probably a good time to review our policy and make sure we’ve got the right coverage.
Here are some things I looked at in terms of our policy:
Cost
The cost of our policy with no changes rose roughly 10% from last year’s total. I actually went online to competing sites to get some rough quotes, and our costs are still significantly cheaper with Allstate. One of the reasons, I’m sure, is that we also have our automobiles covered through Allstate.
I may take some time to check with a couple of other companies on the ‘entire package’ at some point. I’ve heard that some people actually take a day off work dedicated to performing this task. That may be something to consider down the line. As it stands, my preliminary comparison shopping shows me that we’re still getting a reasonably good deal. Though I’m not thrilled about the 10% increase, I can live with it as long as it doesn’t become a repeating trend.
After all this isn’t college tuition where those types of increases are the norm.
Personal Property Protection
This isn’t so much looking at our coverage, but seeing this line did remind me that we need to do a better inventory of our stuff. My parents bought us a new video camera for Christmas, mainly because we want it so that we can film Baby Beagle when he/she arrives, but doing a walk through of our house to catalog inventory would be a good use for this camera as well.
Additional Living Expense
Currently, we have coverage for up to 12 months. This would cover us in the event that our house needed extensive renovations or re-construction. I don’t know if there are opportunities to make adjustments to this length, but I think one year is fair.
Family Liability Protection
This is currently set at the ‘base’ limit of $100,000. My understanding of this is that if we were to have an accident at our house and then get sued for damages, this would be the amount that the insurance company would pay up to. So, if someone tripped and fell and then came to sue us, we would be ‘covered’ up to $100,000 in damages plus associated costs.
It’s my feeling that we should raise this. My company will raise this for $39 per year to raise it to $300,000 up to $115 per year to raise it to $1,000,000. I am gathering advice to see what is recommended, but unfortunately in our ’sue first, ask questions later’, I feel the additional costs might be a small price to pay.
Any thoughts or recommendations?
Guest Medical Protection
This would be coverage that would cover out-of-pocket costs for anyone injured on our property that might require immediate medical attention. The example I saw that made the most sense was that if you have a child, and they have a friend over for a sleepover, and the friend gets hurt, you could take her to the emergency room and these costs would be covered.
One person commenting on this felt that having additional protection here often reduced the chances of getting sued for minor accidents, reducing the chances that the previous category would be needed.
Currently, our protection is the base $1,000. They offer $5,000 of protection for $9 more per year. To me, this might be worth it as well.

Any thoughts or advice that might help out?

If you’ve had any experience with this, please let me know. I’m always looking to make sure we have the right amount of coverage, so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!