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5 insurance questions to ask your agent

From deductibles to discounts, your agent can answer these five key questions.

New car, new house, new baby, new spouse: As life changes, insurance needs change, too. But most of us are not experts in deductibles and actuarial tables. That’s what your insurance agent is there for. At your yearly agent check-in, ask these insurance questions to make sure you maintain the coverage you need.

  1. What’s my deductible?
    Knowing how much you have to personally pay for a claim in the event of an auto accident or unexpected home repair can help you plan your personal emergency fund. If the amount seems too high or too low for what you can comfortably afford, talk to your agent about whether it makes sense to change your deductible.
  2. What’s covered?
    Different policies cover different types of events, and it’s important to understand exactly what coverage you have. Does your homeowners policy cover flooding? If your jewelry is stolen, will you be reimbursed for the full value, or are the items subject to a monetary limitation? Talk to your agent about your coverage limits and extended options that may make sense for you.
  3. Is it time to update my coverage?
    Most people remember to increase their life insurance coverage if they have a child. But other events, such as a home remodel, the purchase of big-ticket items or even a move from one apartment to another, could warrant updated coverage (or at least an updated home inventory).
  4. How much life insurance do I need?
    Online calculators can give you broad estimates based on your income and debts, but your insurance agent will have a more personal conversation with you about your coverage goals. For instance, the age of your children, the amount of time left on your mortgage and your retirement investment strategy may all play a role in how much life insurance you really need.
  5. Am I eligible for discounts?
    Bundling multiple policies, taking driver safety courses, getting good grades, driving under a certain number of miles per year and paying the full premiums in advance are just a few reasons that may help qualify you for a discount.

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