An important part of financial literacy and making smart choices when it comes to your insurance policies is doing an annual policy review. There are a broad range of reasons why asking your agent for a policy review just makes good sense, but how do you go about approaching your agent and asking for a review? What kinds of questions should you be asking your agent when you go in for a review? What kinds of information should you be expecting from your agent?
These are all great questions. First and foremost, your agent should be more than happy to go over your policies with you. You should never feel like you are creating some kind of burden or inconvenience for your agent when you ask for their time to review your policies. As we move through life, our needs and priorities change- and insurance policies should be reflective of your current assets, focuses, investments, and risks. Reevaluating your policies and making certain you have all of the coverage you need, and perhaps less of the coverage that’s no longer relevant to you, are important aspects of an insurance agent’s job. If you ask your agent for a review and they seem less than thrilled about it, perhaps it is time to seek out a new agent along with that policy review.
Savvy and professional agents see taking preventative steps like policy reviews as a positive. Rather than scrambling around, reactively attempting to discern “Am I covered?” when an actual claim needs to be filed, a good professional agent will be glad to review policies, coverage, coverage limitations, and so on with their clients.
Periodically reviewing your policies allows you to avoid unpleasant surprises or gaps in coverage. Too often people purchase their policies, set aside their documents, and carry on without taking into consideration new purchases, assets, changing families, home upgrades, and all of the other details that may affect their policies. With an annual policy review, you can make sure you’re making updates as needed.
After having contacted your agent and asked for a policy review, it’s a good idea to get ahold of any relevant documents that you have on hand- your declarations pages or policy review pages, policy numbers, and any relevant information you think you’d like to adjust or discuss with your agent as you go over your policies. Have you purchased any new appliances or vehicles? Had children? Gotten married or divorced? Upgraded your business’s computer or security systems? All of these types of events can have an effect on your policy needs and coverage.
Keep notes and records about your conversations and ask for clarification where you need it. Your agent will likely reach out after your discussions via email to reiterate what you covered in your policy review as well.
Great agents love policy reviews. A client that asks for a policy review is a client who cares about the purchase they’re making, and seeks to understand their policies and coverage. You should never feel intimidated asking for a review. Agents whose clients seek out policy reviews are thrilled that those clients are facilitating the bond, the relationship and dialogue between policyholder and agent- and ensuring that all parties are on the same page. When everyone is on the same page, you and your agent can be confident that you have the right coverage to suit your needs. Knowing where the exclusions are, knowing where potential gaps in coverage are, and where you’re taking on additional risk personally is an important part of making your policy purchases and having control over your finances.
Ultimately, getting a policy review should be as simple as asking for one. Your agent will gladly make time for you. Have an idea about what if any new changes in your life, business, or financial situation may have an effect on your policy, keep communications open, ask as many questions as you need to to understand your coverage, and keep complete notes. Follow up with your agent, and the whole process should go quite smoothly!