As the New Year opens, there is so much to look over, to tap into, and to put forth in hopes of what may come throughout the following year.
We all know the saying, “New Year, New Me.” It’s this phrase that both elicits a little chuckle and a heavy eye roll, but sometimes, it also refreshes our mindsets as we begin to set our resolutions.
In the whirlwind of a new year, though, amidst the goal-setting and aspirations, there tends to be a few things that slip through the cracks. These often overlooked tasks that are well deserving of attention tend to be the parts of our lives that are left in the previous year, but are so badly still needed in this new year of opportunity.
One main, and so often overlooked task?
Updating insurance coverage and policies.
It may not be as glamorous as the 6 pack abs you’re envisioning, or that amazing trip around the world you are set to finally take this year, but it is immensely important to still review these fundamental elements. These are the very building blocks to the lives that include boarding that plane or hitting the 10,000th sit up.
Overall, when it comes to new year’s resolutions, it’s suggested from research that only 9% of Americans that make resolutions complete them. The best part about the simple resolution of updating insurance coverage? Its attainable, workable, and easier to accomplish when you have the right help at your fingertips.
So, while it might not rival the excitement of setting new objectives, to take the time in reassessing and updating insurance coverage is the right financial move toward securing your future.
I mean, the more you secure your future, the more you can fill it with those once-in-a-lifetime trips, right?
In looking at updating insurance coverage, you might be thinking- Do I even need to? How do I even know that I need to?
Just remember: Life’s a constant series of changes—a carousel of events that can significantly impact the way you live and the way you would need to protect the manner in which you live.
An American writer, Bruce Feiler, discovered after interviewing hundreds of Americans, that on average, major life changes happened every 12 and 18 months.
Its these types of big life changes– like moving, getting married, expanding a family, drastic changes in health, and the like– that are monumental and absolutely worth all the attention they are given. They are also worth adjusting to in more than just baby proofing the kitchen cabinets and teaching your teen to drive the “right way”.
In all, major life milestones like marriage, parenthood, fluctuations in income, or even a shift in your living situation can reshape the landscape of your required insurance coverage.
Lets take a look at 10 common life changes that should be reflected as you are updating insurance coverage.
Life Changes Worth the Updating Insurance Coverage:
A great place to start is considering what life changes would prompt a need in updating insurance coverage and policies.
Considering the fact that insurance is suggested to be changed every year, you can pretty much say that any life changes you have experienced in a year can trigger this need for updating insurance coverage.
You’ve probably already thought through your last year, thinking of all the things you want to change or do better as you are looking to the new year. But don’t forget to take a moment to review your last year through the eyes of accomplishments as well– these tend to come with the big changes that could be given further gratitude and commitment to their longevity by protecting them with adequate insurance.
These are the major life events such as a relationship that got set in stone and in the vows of marriage. It could be the expansion of your family – not just with a child but even a furry friend! It could be a promotion at work that shifted income significantly, or even you deciding to finally take the leap and open your own business.
Of course, each of these events has their inverse as well. Just as there is a marriage to celebrate, there also might be the finality of another that has come to an end in divorce. There might be a member of the family that is nearing an older age that needs added insurance or even a change in their health insurance as they move into the Medicare age bracket.
In all, its these events that might necessitate adjustments in coverage amounts or beneficiaries.
Getting married may lead to combining policies or adding a spouse to existing ones. Couples may reassess life insurance, health insurance, and auto insurance to accommodate shared assets and responsibilities.
For auto insurance alone, on average a married couple spends $149 less per year compared to a single, divorced or widowed individual.
Married couples can also acquire as much as a 40% discount when it comes to long term care insurance as they tend to care for each other in the home as they age.
The birth or adoption of a child can lead to adjustments in life insurance coverage to ensure adequate financial protection for the child and the family’s future. Health insurance might also need to be reevaluated to include the new family member.
More in the household does not always mean higher average premiums per member. According to HealthCare.gov, “If your income estimate goes down or you gain a household member You could qualify for more savings than you’re getting now. This could lower what you pay in monthly premiums”
Change in Income:
Significant changes in income, whether it’s a substantial increase or decrease, can impact insurance needs. Higher income might prompt considerations for increased coverage, while a decrease might call for adjustments to align with the new financial situation.
Just as mentioned above, if you are making less than last year, you could actually access more savings.
Home Purchase or Renovation:
Buying a new home or renovating an existing one often requires updates to homeowners or renters insurance to ensure proper coverage for the property’s value and any added assets.
The basics of home insurance is that the value of the home at the time of insuring is covered in case of damage from fire, smoke, water, or the like. If you add an extension, or update a section of your home, significantly increasing the value, without updating your coverage, it is not possible to retroactively fit coverage around these additions or renovations in the case of damage. In short, you want to cover the current footprint with all additions, as well as the current value of inclusions – so all those updated appliances, features, etc – ahead of any lapse time. The more time that lapses, the more opportunity for a claim to be needed that wouldn’t cover you fully.
Changing jobs, starting a business, or significant career advancements might affect insurance needs. Employer-provided insurance might change, necessitating personal policy adjustments for health or disability coverage.
There are huge differences between insurance being provided to you via your employer versus providing it for yourself in light of being one of the average 4.4 million businesses started each year. Regardless of where you stand in your employment or entrepreneurship, you deserve to be fully covered.
Divorce or Separation:
Going through a divorce or separation might require restructuring insurance policies, including health insurance and life insurance beneficiaries, to reflect the new circumstances.
Transitioning into retirement may involve changes in health insurance, life insurance, and other policies to adapt to the new lifestyle and financial situation.
Only 13% of Americans plan to retire before the age of 60, though the trend of earlier retirement is commonly sought after. Regardless of if it is just a few years shaved off retirement age, there is a general age of life being entered and thus retirement can prompt a number of age related insurance changes.
This is the age where you might be driving less, be nearing the age to pursue Medicare, or be thinking of what long term care might look like.
Elderly Care or Dependents:
Taking care of elderly parents or becoming responsible for dependents might lead to adjustments in life insurance or long-term care coverage.
Elderly care and dependents can have substantial impact on changes in insurance. These changes can touch across the spectrum of insurances, from health and car, to long term care and overall health insurance.
All areas of life- especially these big ones- deserve the right kind of coverage at the right times. You never want to be looking back after the need of a claim arises, looking at what coverage you wish you had. Updating insurance coverage is committing to the life changes you have moved through with eyes set on a future that is secure and protected.
If you have questions, we have answers!