A Publication of WTVP

Happy New Year! As I prepared to write this column, I thought I should complete a New Year review. When I checked, I realized I have done that the past two years. Since the information is still useful, I decided to begin the same way in 2007. Just as we make New Year’s Resolutions, I think an insurance check-up is another helpful project in January. Here are a few ideas:

Personal Lines. Over the holiday season, we celebrate with new gifts for family members. Many times these may need to be added to your homeowner’s policy. If you received a piece of jewelry you will want to talk with your agent to see if it needs to be added to a jewelry floater. Policies can also have limitations to sporting goods/guns so make sure you review those limits. Our technology keeps increasing and our purchases cost more to replace, so expensive electronics are another item to review with your insurance professional. Over the past year, you may have made additions or changes to your home, which could warrant an increase in your policy limit. On the auto side, you may have changed vehicles or need to reevaluate if you really need to pay for full coverage on an older unit. If you have children heading off to college without a vehicle you may be eligible for some savings. Carriers may offer discounts if your student is over 100 miles away from home for college. Both breakdowns in security, along with the increased use of the Internet to transfer financial data, has increased exposure to identity theft. The practice of stealing information over the Internet through the use of e-mail is referred as phishing. One of the largest costs associated with identity theft is the time it takes to correct the problems. Many insurance companies are offering coverage under their homeowners policy that will pay a company to do this for you.

Life Insurance. Many people buy a life insurance policy when they get married or have children. Does that policy still cover all your current and future needs? The life insurance industry is experiencing some of the lowest rates of all time. It would probably be worth a life insurance check-up.

Health Insurance.
The first of the year provides a wonderful opportunity to make sure you understand your coverage in relationship to deductibles, co-pays and HRAs (Health Reimbursement Accounts) or HSAs (Health Savings Accounts). Enrollment periods are very strict with health carriers and you do not want to miss the window for making changes to your plans.

Commercial Business. With some of the changes President Bush has signed in the last few years, many companies have had the flexibility to deduct more of their purchases. This has spurred business owners to grow their operations. Owners need to make sure they have added new equipment to their insurance policies so they don’t find themselves underinsured.

Please contact your local insurance professional for help with any of these topics. I wish you the best of luck in 2007. IBI