Big changes in your life can be exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking! Generally, when people purchase insurance, they just carry on with life until a situation arises. Throughout our lives, many things change. You might get married, buy a new car or have a child (or multiple). When these big changes happen, our insurance policies should reflect those changes, as well. From home insurance to life insurance, we’ve got the top life events that will require insurance policy changes.
1. You get married
- Home insurance: Generally by marriage, you and your partner’s belongings are all under the same roof. The more personal belongings that are under that roof, the more coverage you will need. Always make sure the two of you take inventory of all items within your household. Additionally, if you live common law, most of the general rules still apply. Even when you get engaged, it’s a good idea to obtain jewelry insurance to protect your new investment. Check with your isure broker for further information on insurance policy changes.
- Car insurance: Being married is a great way to save money on auto insurance! Adding a secondary driver who has a good driving record to your vehicle is generally inexpensive. And because only one person can be behind the wheel at a time, rates are generally lower! For extra savings, bundle your car and home policies with one provider.
- Life insurance: We get it, this can be a tricky one to think about; especially at the start of your marriage! However, in case of tragedy, you don’t want to leave your partner without any support. Many people don’t have life insurance when they are single. So, getting it when you marry is a great time to do so. If you have an existing policy, make sure to reevaluate your needs and add your partner to it.
2. You recently bought a home
- Home insurance: It is a given to have home insurance when you purchase a house. So, if you’re in need of a new or updated policy, now is the time to do so. You don’t want to put you and your partner in a sticky financial situation if something happens and you lack funds to repair it. Alternatively, if you owned the house prior to your marriage, now is a good time to make sure all your belongings are covered.
- Car insurance: Many insurance companies, such as isure, offer bundle packages on auto insurance, home insurance and other policies. If you recently purchased your house, its always good to inquire about bundling savings.
3. Your family is growing or changing
- Life insurance: Having a child is a huge step! As soon as you find out you will be having a bundle of joy soon, it’s best to contact your life insurer and tell them you are expecting. Now is a crucial time to update your plan and make sure any new additions to your family are added to your plan as beneficiaries.
- Car insurance: We know it can be scary for parents to think about their kids behind the wheel, but before you know it, they’re teenagers! Adding a teen driver to your plan as a secondary driver is crucial if your teen gets their G1 licence!
4. Your income has changed
- Life insurance: Whenever your salary changes, you should always look over your insurance policy. In Ontario, experts generally recommend having 7-10 times your annual salary in life insurance in order to make sure your family is supported in case something happens to you. It’s quite common for people to shrug this off, assuming it won’t make a difference. However, even a small pay raise or decrease can have an effect on your insurance, so it’s important to look into this sooner rather than later.
5. You purchase a new car
- Car insurance: Buying a new car is always exciting! It’s also a crucial time to evaluate the insurance policy changes that come with it. As soon as you get your new ride, you should call your car insurance company and let them know all the details. This includes the make, model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It’s always a good idea to ask your isure broker prior to your purchase, as a new car can make your premium fluctuate!
6. You got a new job
- Life insurance: If your new job involves making more money every paycheck, then congratulations! As mentioned above, it is recommended for your life insurance to have roughly 7-10 times your annual salary. Another important thing to keep note of is if you are going through a major career change that adds more risk to your life. If so, you may see your life insurance become pricier!
7. You treat yourself to something expensive
- Home insurance: Have you recently treated yourself to something pricey that isn’t a new house or vehicle? If so, you should always re-evaluate what changes need to be made to your policy. This may include valuable or luxury items, such as cameras, computers, sporting equipment, jewelry, art or antiques. Remember, your insurance policy should be updated regularly to reflect the cost of coverage in the event that your belongings are lost, stolen or destroyed.
8. You renovate your property
- Home insurance: There are many things that can make your home go up in value. Getting a swimming pool, remodelling your kitchen or renovating your back deck are all major changes that call for insurance policy changes. If you add upgrades to your home, such as new smoke alarms, gas detectors or other safety features, your insurance rates may go down. Even if you’re unsure, it’s always a great idea to have your isure broker take another look at your policy when undergoing any major renovations.
9. You’re driving less
- Car insurance: Whether you’re still working from home, began carpooling or now live closer to your office, it’s good to perform an insurance evaluation. Many insurance companies will consider less mileage the same as reduced risk, so you may be able to get a cheaper rate. Think of it this way: you’re saving money on gas and parking, why not save even more by implementing insurance policy changes? Let’s face it, we can all use some money-saving techniques in this economy, and driving less is a way you can get there!
10. You retire or plan on retiring soon
- Life insurance: We know nobody likes to think about getting older, but properly planning for the future is always a smart move. However, as you approach retirement age, you should evaluate your life insurance policy. If you’re debt-free and your kids and spouse are able to live comfortably on your retirement savings, you may not need to review at this time.
- Car insurance: It’s a well-known fact that as you get older, your car insurance premiums tend to lower with experience. However, as you age closer to 70, your rates will likely begin to rise again. As a result, you should keep up-to-date on your insurance policy changes! Discuss evaluating your insurance policy with your isure broker in order to ensure you’re getting the best deal you can as you age.
11. Someone has passed away
- Life insurance: Things can be tough when a loved one passes away. In addition to grieving your partner, you’ll need to know if you are listed as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy. This will ensure that you receive a payment in order to help you pay for the costs that come with losing this person. You can do this by finding your policy document and contacting the company that does your insurance. As a helpful note, you should already be aware of these details before tragedy strikes.
- Car insurance: When someone passes away who is still an active driver, it is best to call your isure broker (when possible) to cancel the policy. However, it’s best to wait a little bit when it comes to doing this. This way, you can figure out whether you want to pass the policy off to the successor or if you simply want to remove it altogether.
- Home insurance: Generally speaking, dealing with home insurance during a death is usually quite simple, depending on the insurance company. When someone dies, you have 30 days to provide a death certificate to the insurance company. From there, you and the company will decide what the next steps will be regarding the house and the insurance policy.
We hope this clarifies any questions you have about life events and the insurance policy changes that come with them. As always, an isure broker is awaiting your call if you do experience any of these events and need to discuss further.