When it comes to financial planning, rather many people lump “insurance” into the category of investments – an area where few of us feel terribly confident.
In truth, though, insurance is more of a psychological rather than a monetary investment. Unlike other investments, you hope you’ll never “see a return” on insurance by getting in an accident or suffering a house fire.
For this investment, your goal is making sure you’re protected from large expenses you couldn’t handle on your own. To feel more confident in understanding your coverage:
Read your policy and Declarations (the personalized page that shows your specific coverage limits), paying particular attention to the liability section. As you read, ask yourself:
- Are my limits high enough?
- Could I handle a higher deductible (which would save money on premiums)?
- Could I qualify for a discount that isn’t listed?
Check to make sure nothing has changed since you bought your policy:
- Have I added a new car?
- Is there a new driver in my household?
- Am I driving more miles or fewer miles to work?
If any thing seems out of date, you’ll want to call your insurance company right away. Waiting too long to notify your company of a change could jeopardize coverage in certain instances. Some companies, like PEMCO, give you a 30-day grace period of automatic coverage if you buy a new car (provided you insure all your vehicles on the same policy).
If you do make a change to your policy, your company will send you a new Declarations page to replace the old one.
Read consumer-friendly websites. You can further sharpen your insurance savvy with these good general-information sites: insure.com, insweb.com, and iii.org. Financial sites like money.cnn.com and kiplinger.com can help, too.
For information specific to your state, visit insurance.wa.gov (Office of the Insurance Commissioner) in Washington or insurance.oregon.gov (Oregon Insurance Division) in Oregon.
You’re also welcome to call PEMCO any time with questions or concerns at 1‑800‑GO‑PEMCO