Finding the Best Insurance Policy

Some rights reserved by davebloggs007Insurance is one of those necessary evils. But we all need it in some form.

Auto insurance is a good example of an insurance necessity in Florida. You must carry minimum coverages on your policy. Florida requires PIP, Personal Injury Protection, to be carried on all Florida policies. However, there are different types of PIP you could carry. Some companies offer a deductible or exclude work loss…which could bring down your premium. But also could leave you paying more if something happens. You can also buy extended PIP, which might help you out in case of an accident…by reducing upfront costs, but might also cost you more each policy term. Florida also requires a minimum limit for bodily injury and property damage. Therefore, you can’t avoid these coverages.

Realistically you should be carrying all the coverage you can afford, but practically you often need to pick and choose. Consult with your insurance professional on ways to save money that won’t leave you in a lurch if you actually end up needing your coverages in an accident. Saving money doesn’t always pay in case of disaster. In addition, shop around for different auto insurance companies. Loyalty sometimes pays when it comes to rates, but often shopping around can find you similar coverages at lower prices. Make sure you know what you are buying though and that the company and agent have a good reputation.

Then there’s home insurance. We should all have it, but we aren’t all required. A mortgage would require it…but if you don’t have one, you may not be required by anyone to carry it. Is that a good idea? Not really. What would you do if you house burns down? How would you replace it? Speaking of replacement cost…pay attention to those words versus actual cash value. Make sure you know what your policy covers. If you can’t afford the highest limits and best coverages, shop around for different companies that offer various incentives or discounts.  Also, make sure that you know which perils your policy covers…not all policies cover the same things.

In addition, when it comes to home and car insurance, make sure you know what your deductible is and what it means. A high deductible could save you money…but make sure you will have that money available if you need it. A high deductible could spell disaster if you don’t have it when a claim occurs.

And then there is life insurance..also not required but a good idea. If you have loved ones, make sure they are taken care of in the event you pass away. Life insurance is a great way to do this. However, be aware of the difference between whole and term. You don’t always need the more expensive whole life insurance for your situation..term might work for you and cost less usually. Moreover, you aren’t always dying to leave your family in a lurch…disability can be just as bad. Make sure you have good disability insurance. You can get both long and short-term disability. They do have strict underwriting rules for both life and disability policies, though, so make sure you understand what is required of you for different policies. Shopping around is the best way to make sure you get the best coverage at the best pricing. In addition, don’t forget that different life events like divorce, birth, and marriage might require you to up your coverage or buy more. Don’t neglect to do an insurance checkup every year.

Then there’s health insurance. We all know that’s been in the news. Keep up on the changing policies and guidelines. Shopping for health insurance has changed drastically in the past year, and your company’s policies may have too if you get it through them.

Lastly, if you are business owner…make sure you have the proper insurance coverages you need for your business. This may include liability policies, specific item policies, works comp policies, etc. An insurance professional can help you with the types of coverages you need for your particular business.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

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