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Insurance: Yearly policy reviews make sense

An insurance policy is no better than the coverage it contains. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to review your coverage at least once a year to make sure that you are properly protected. I am always surprised when we do a review for a new client how many changes need to be made to update their insurance coverage.

On the homeowners policy, you need to make sure that the policy is updated to reflect any new additions or major remodeling as the policy limit would need to be increased to reflect these changes. If the occupancy has been changed, the carrier needs to be advised. If you have made major purchases of new furniture, the contents’ limit may need to be raised. If you have installed or disconnected a central station alarm, the carrier would also need to be advised. If you have purchased new jewelry or fine arts, the new items may need to be scheduled. As you can see from this short list, many changes can occur throughout the year and without the annual review coverage issues will be discovered at the time of loss when nothing can be done for correction.

On the auto policy, you need to advise the carrier of any changes of vehicles or any changes in the use of a vehicle.

If you have a new driver or a current driver will no longer be driving, the carrier needs to be advised. If your child is getting a good student discount, you need to provide the carrier with evidence of this in order to receive the proper discount.

If you have a child away at school, you need to advise the carrier as you may qualify for an additional discount, etc.

By taking a few minutes each year to review your insurance policy, you will hopefully keep your coverage needs up to date and will properly be protected at the time of loss.

Anthony D. Smith, an insurance agent with Smith-Reed-Osmond LLC, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., Suite K, Bradenton, can be reached at (941) 792-3300.