It’s important to organize your finances so that your papers and contacts are close at hand when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one. But is your insurance information up to date?
According to Sonia Wood, an insurance broker at Stoneridge Insurance Brokers, people often don’t realize that there are many factors that can affect your insurance coverage. For example, upgrades such as an in-ground pool or a finish basement might mean that you no longer have adequate coverage for your home and property.
Reviewing your insurance coverage with a professional is a good time to go over any of these changes and make sure you’re protecting your assets properly. Do a proper inventory of your home and possessions, with photos, and then store a copy with a family member in another location.
Also be aware of unexpected liability issues that can come up when you’re a homeowner. Sonia has seen one neighbour sue another when pesticides drifted over the fence and killed someone’s plants, and then there are the trampoline accidents, sidewalk slips, and dog bites. Are you protected in case of any of these incidents?
Another mistake people make with their home and car insurance is to go with a low deductible. Sonia actually recommends that you consider a minimum $1,000.00 deductible, especially since you likely won’t report a minor claim in order to keep your rates from increasing. Best of all, the money you save by increasing your deductible could cover a small claim in the future.
Make sure the names listed on your insurance policies are correct, such as who is on title on a house and who is the registered owner of a vehicle. This makes it easier when changes are required on the policy, or when you’re managing someone’s estate.
No one thinks a fire or flood will happen to them, and no one likes to think about dying and leaving your loved ones behind. So review your coverage with an insurance professional now and know that you’re protected.
Sonia Wood started her insurance career over 25 years ago in London, England. Today she is an insurance broker at Stoneridge Insurance Brokers in Barrie, Ontario, where she specializes in property, automobile and commercial insurance. In June 2013 Sonia will join Tara Stamp of Peaceful Transition as two of the 12 Ladies in a Tent, raising food, money and awareness for the Barrie Food Bank.