By Micah Williams
Insurance Consultant at Wayne Anthony Insurance
When you purchase insurance, what is the first thing you think of? For most of us the answer is, how much is this going to cost me? While cost should always be considered when making your choice, the main question you should be asking yourself is, am I covered adequately for my specific insurance needs? While there is some standard underlying coverage that is included in most policies, what is actually covered can be a bit more complicated. That is why a trusted insurance adviser is vitally important when purchasing any policy.
At Wayne Anthony Insurance, in addition to being competitive on price, we add the value of being trusted advisers as the risks in your life change over time. Here are some tips that show how I consult my clients to keep them on top of their risk exposure.
Endorsements: Would you like to find out at the time of a claim that the insurance policy you purchased with your home does not have the proper coverage endorsed onto your policy to protect you and your assets? Of the many endorsements available, to name one that should always be included is water back up and sump overflow. Imagine a sewer back up happens in your home and you find out you are not covered for this loss, (not a good day). Also, another valuable endorsement is replacement cost instead of the depreciated actual cash value. At the time of a loss you do not want to find out your $2500 TV is now worth $250, or the $10,000 dollars in furniture you own is now valued at $1,000.
Do Not File Small Claims: It is helpful to have someone you can trust to recommend when to file a claim or not. Insurance claims, and the premium increase that almost always follows, stay with you for up to five years. If you add up the increased premium over that time period, you should be cautious to file a claim, unless it makes sense to.
Raise Your Deductibles: By rule-The lower the deductible, the higher the premium, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. By having an understanding that insurance should be avoided for small claims, raising your deductible to a reasonable amount puts money back in your pocket.
Have Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Auto Coverage: Statistics indicate that about 1 in 4 drivers in the state of Florida have no auto insurance, and many people only have the state minimum requirements for liability coverage. If you are in a major wreck and not at fault, the person who is at fault may not be able to pay for your bodily injuries. This is where your uninsured motorist coverage protects you. Match these limits with your regular liability levels when financially possible.
Have a Personal Umbrella Policy: The umbrella not only pays claims above your home and auto liability limits, but also responds to a lawsuit or claim against you outside of your home or car. These policies are affordable and provide excellent coverage. We recommend having your total liability coverage greater than or equal to your total assets, which is your risk exposure.
Insure Your Home to Full Replacement Cost: As I have said before, insurance is there for the big losses, so make sure to have your home properly valued and insured to be able to rebuild it in the case of a total loss. If you don’t, you will either not be able to rebuild your home in the way it was before the loss, or you will have to pay the difference out of pocket.
I hope these recommendations let you see the advantages of having a trusted insurance consultant that truly cares to help you navigate the complexities of insurance options and manage your risk exposure. As your trusted Independent Insurance agent, I am always out for my client’s best interest, to keep them prepared for and protected from the unknown. Call or email me and I will be happy to do an insurance comparison/review for you.