Insurance provides invaluable protection for you, your family, and your business. It’s one of those things that we rarely think about until we need it, and then it becomes invaluable. But instead of ignoring your coverage, tick an item off of the “to do” list for 2019 and resolve to take the time to consider how to get the most out of your coverage.
1. Peril-Proof Your Home
We all know that staying claims-free is the best way to keep your insurance rates low. Keep your home free of perils to avoid a costly accident. But remember that if you do have to file a claim, we are here for you to help you through the process, step-by-step.
2. Drive Green
By following best practices for eco-friendly driving, you’ll be safer on the road. This cuts down your risk of being involved in an accident, which in turn makes it less likely that you’ll have to file an insurance claim.
3. Avoid Bad Driving Habits
The longer we drive the easier it is to forget everything we learned in driving school. Falling into bad driving habits is a sure-fire way to end up in an accident and end up with increased insurance rates. Don’t drive distracted, keep your speed at or underneath the limit, keep a good distance between you and the person in front of you, obey all traffic signs, and most of all, be patient on the road. Rushing is unlikely to get you anywhere faster.
4. Keep Your Home Inventory Up to Date
A comprehensive and up-to-date home inventory is essential for a stress-free home insurance claim. Make a comprehensive list of all your valuable items by going through your home room by room, and make sure to take pictures of everything. If you have added value to your home through renovations be sure to report them to your insurance company, and also take pictures of the changes. If receipts, service records or any other forms of documentation that can support the value of items are available, be sure to keep them in a safe place along with your photos and list.
5. Review at Renewal Time
Unless there has been a hike to your insurance rates, most people tend to disregard insurance renewal time. If you take no action after receiving your notice, your current policy will automatically be renewed. If anything about your situation has changed, at renewal is the ideal time to inform your insurance provider and shop around a little with your insurance broker. There are no penalties for switching your coverage during the thirty days before your policy term is up.
6. Pack an Emergency Kit
Vehicle emergency kits are essential. At the very least, yours should contain the fully-stocked first aid kit, drinking water, non-perishable food items, warm blankets, a flashlight, and road maps. These items can help you survive if you are ever trapped somewhere help is not available.
7. Avoid Water Damage
Water damage is by far the most common home insurance claim. Always ensure your roof, eavestroughs, and downspouts are in good shape, and that your basement has a working drain and is fitted with a backflow valve. For enhanced protection, a new water damage package for is available from Intact that includes damage caused by overland water.
8. Check Your Detectors
Smoke, carbon monoxide and water detectors save lives — and expensive repair costs. Fire safety experts say that functional smoke detectors cut your risk of injury or death in a home fire in half. Carbon monoxide gas is virtually undetectable until it’s too late, and so detectors are absolutely essential in every home. And water sensors and leak detectors can help you uncover hidden problems in your piping and plumbing systems, preventing costly damage.
9. Keep a Reserve Fund
Accidents happen, and that’s why you should maintain a reserve fund. This ensures that you’ll be able to finance repairs and other accident-related costs that may not be covered by your policy without having to disrupt your day-to-day budget. This will give you additional peace of mind in addition to the protection your insurance policies provide.
10. Use an Insurance Broker
As professional insurance brokers, we work on behalf of our customers. We are not employed by insurance companies; rather, we are independent professionals who act as agents, connecting clients with the insurance products they need to protect their homes, vehicles, businesses, property and interests. We are often able to provide insurance products at rates that are lower than what customers could get on their own. This is because we have privileged insider relationships with insurance companies, and can get insurance providers to bid on your business. This, in turn, makes the playing field more competitive and gives providers an incentive to offer the very best possible insurance rates.