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From home to health, time for an insurance check-up

Review your possessions and your homeowner's insurance policy

Review your possessions and your homeowner's insurance policy to be sure you have adequate coverage. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / Bill Oxford

With the start of the new year, you’re likely in the “it’s time to get my financial act together” mindset. Good. But don’t just vow to save more and reduce debt; make an insurance must-do list, too.

  • Create a home inventory: Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover personal belongings up to 50 percent of your dwelling coverage amount. However, certain items, such as jewelry and computers, have limits as low as $1,500. “To make sure all your high-value possessions are protected from theft or damage from a covered event, maintain a home inventory that lists each item’s value. If they exceed coverage caps, add a personal articles endorsement to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at insuranceQuotes.com.
  • Assess your car insurance: A recent insuranceQuotes study showed that raising your auto insurance deductible from $500 (the most common amount) to $1,000, saves 9 percent on average. Also, many companies offer discounts on items such as paperless billing and paying your entire premium in one payment.
  • Review health care: “With changes on the horizon now that our current administration is looking to repeal the Affordable Care Act, review your coverage, particularly if you have health-related issues or prescriptions that would be adversely affected,” says Peg Newman, a partner with The Newman Group in Salt Lake City.
  • Don’t delay: Even if your list seems long, some things you don’t want to put off. You’ll save money if you buy long-term care insurance in your 50s instead of your 60s. Similarly, buy life insurance when you’re young. Says Don Lippencott, a New York Life agent in East Setauket, “Having the right amount of life insurance is nonnegotiable.”

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