Buying Insurance with Minimal Stress

Some might call it an understatement, but most people do not thoroughly enjoy the insurance buying experience.  As your agent, we try our best to instill the peace of mind that should come from the sometimes cumbersome process of insuring your home, auto or business.   These tips should help make your insurance buying experience less stressful:

·Work toward common anniversary dates for your coverages.

Although most people buy insurance when they need the coverage, it is a good idea to shoot for common anniversary dates for all your policies.  Here are three reasons:

  1. You kill several birds with one stone (apologies to ornithologists and the ASPCA).  That leaves the rest of the year to enjoy your freedom from the mundane aspects of applications and check writing (unless you finance your premium). 
  2. You have a designated time of the year to think about insurance, decreasing the likelihood that something will fall between the cracks.  If February 13th is the common anniversary for all your coverages, it becomes less likely that you will forget to renew your policies on time.
  3. Just as it becomes more compartmentalized for you, the same goes for us.  While we are always thinking about your needs, it is easier for us to evaluate your entire portfolio and make suggestions if you are renewing your coverages all at once. 

·Avoid common industry crunch times, like mid-year or year-end anniversary dates that strain the resources of workers in the industry. 

Think about it, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s more people take vacations than just about any other time of the year, no matter what the industry.  The insurance industry is no exception.  You can usually work on changing your expiration date, either by elongation, i.e., exceeding an annual policy term (not all insurers allow this) or by what is called a “cancel/rewrite” whereby your old policy is cancelled midterm and a new policy is issued.

·Reduce the number of payments as much as possible. 

While financing business coverages may have tax benefits that offset some of the interest you will pay, in most cases, both personal and business, it’s beneficial to reduce the number of payments you have to make.  This reduces the likelihood of forgetting to make a payment, or if your payments are made via credit card or check, it reduces the likelihood that there will be a disruption in coverage due to a change on the withdrawal account, i.e., inadvertent cancellation or suspension of the account.

·Renew early.

Do not wait until the last minute to renew your policy.  Depending on your degree of involvement in the process, it is usually best to tackle renewals early.  Often, underwriters request that all information is in their office at least 30 or 60 days in advance of the renewal of the policy.  This ensures that there will be no surprises for you (or for the underwriter).

Generally speaking, it is best if you think ahead, both in the initial purchase and in the renewal of your policy.   While your primary concerns should be purchasing the broadest possible coverage at the most affordable price, consider these tips the next time you are in the market for an insurance policy.