Life can be hectic - we get it. You've got a lot on your plate, and sometimes it's hard to remember what day it is, let alone filling your insurance agent in on what's going on. But life's events, whether big or small, can play a big part in your insurance, so it's important to carve out some time in your busy schedule to chat with your agent and make sure you're properly covered. To save you some extra leg work, we've come up with a list of important life events you should tell your insurance agent about pronto.
Call your agent if...
1. You've Moved
Have you recently transitioned from renter to homeowner? Tell your agent right away if you're in the process of buying a home. Your mortgage company will require proof of homeowners insurance before you've even closed on your loan, which means your agent will need to quickly provide you with a homeowners policy. Even if you're opting to rent for a little longer but decide to make the move to a new rental location, make sure and tell your agent. Not only does your agent need to know your new address, but your insurance carrier does too, so they can be sure your important insurance documents are sent to the right place.
2. You're Remodeling
Are you finally getting around to updating your kitchen or bathroom? Or maybe you've finished the basement, installed a new roof, or built an addition to your master bedroom. Renovations like these need to be reported to your insurance agent, as they all affect your coverage. You want to make sure all square footage and finishes are accounted for under your homeowners policy so that if something were to happen to them, they'd be covered for the right amount.
3. You've Made Changes To Your Outdoor Space
With warmer months right around the corner, you may have found the motivation to build a neat backyard workshop, put up a new-and-improved fence, or install an in-ground swimming pool. All of these improvements add value to your home and certain additions, like swimming pools, may require your liability coverage to increase. When you notify your agent about these changes, they'll make sure your coverage is enough to protect the investment of all the hard work spent improving your property.
4. Your Farm Has Grown
Farmers and their families who manage farm operations daily know the definition of "hectic" more than anyone else. Your farm is a full-fledged machine that never stops running, meaning you don't either. But if your farm welcomes some new additions, whether it be livestock, machinery/equipment, or buildings, let your agent know. Those expensive investments need to be properly identified on your insurance policy so you can have peace of mind knowing your farm, and all its moving parts, are covered.
5. You've Gotten Married/Divorced
You just tied the knot - congrats! After the wedding stress (we mean excitement) has finally died down, contact your agent to let them know you've got a new partner-in-crime and last name. On the flip side, maybe you've recently gotten divorced. If your ex-spouse no longer has an interest in your property, you should notify your agent so they can get them removed from your insurance policy. This simple change will make for a much easier claims experience for you, should you need to file one down the road.
6. You've Had A Change In Mortgage Companies
Often times, mortgage companies will sell your loan to another company. When you get a letter from your new mortgage company notifying you of the change, send it to your agent. Your agent can then relay that change to your insurance company, allowing for them to update your information and send important insurance documents like your yearly bill, typically paid through an escrow account, to the right address. If your agent and insurance company aren't notified of the change in mortgage companies, your policy may lapse due to your bill not being sent to the correct place.
7. You've Started A New Job
If you've recently switched jobs, it can affect both your homeowners insurance and life insurance. If you have a CFM policy, a new occupation may mean you qualify for an additional discount on your coverage. CFM offers a discount to those who work or have worked in the military, educational field, police force, fire department, and farming occupations. Additionally, a new job may mean a higher income, which can result in your agent needing to increase your life insurance policy accordingly on your behalf.
8. You've Installed A Security System
Have you recently added an extra layer of safety to your property with the purchase of an in-home security system? If so, let your agent know, as you may qualify for a discount on your premium. CFM and most policyholders are eligible for a discount on their policy when they install a security system at their property because it shows an insurance company that you take safety seriously and are making extra efforts to protect your property.
9. You've Bought a Business
Those brave enough to take on buying a business deserve a big pat on the back in our books. Whether the business you purchased is big or small, this life accomplishment is one to share with the world, including your insurance agent. Your agent can find the right insurance company to take on your risk and cover it appropriately, should anything happen. After all, the less worried you are about your new investment, the more you can enjoy the adventure of it all.
10. Your Identity Was Stolen
If you've fallen victim to identity theft, inform your insurance agent right away, as you may have coverage under the liability section of your policy. For no additional cost, CFM policyholders are covered for up to $15,000 in expenses incurred as a result of identity theft.
11. You've Recently Welcomed A New Child
Every parent knows that adding a new member to the family means new responsibilities. After you and your new little one settle in at home, take a few minutes to call your agent and let them know you've added an addition to your family. They will discuss necessary changes to your health and life insurance with you.
12. Your Child Has Gone Off To College
After the shock of your "baby" graduating high school wears off, call your agent to talk about getting your new college student covered while they're away working for their next diploma. Baldwin Insurance Agency offers contents policies for students who may live in dorms or rent a space to live in during the school year. In fact, your homeowners policy may even extend coverage to your children up to a certain amount while they're away from home.
13. You've Purchased A New Car
Just like with buying a new house, buying a new car requires new insurance. You'll need to contact your agent to cancel your auto insurance policy on your old car if you've sold or traded it in and get coverage for your new set of wheels. Don't forget, if you have a lienholder on the car you just purchased, let your agent know their information, as they'll need to be added on your auto insurance policy.
14. You Have A New Teen Driver On Your Hands
Did your teen just pass their driver's license test? If so, it likely means they're getting rewarded with a car of their own, or maybe they'll be borrowing yours here and there. Either way, let your agent know so they can add them under your coverage or get them a policy of their own for their new ride.
While these are just a few of the more important life changes to notify your insurance agent about, we recommend you visit your agent yearly to review your policies even if you haven't experienced any of these specific situations. Life can change at the drop of the hat, and your insurance policies should change right along with it.