COLUMBUS – January is Financial Wellness Month, and the Ohio Department of Insurance is reminding Ohioans that reviewing their insurance protections and comparison-shopping insurance options are big parts of financial wellness to not overlook.
“Completing an insurance review and evaluating different insurance products presents opportunities to potentially lower your insurance expenses while also making sure you have insurance coverage that aligns with your financial protection needs,” Ohio Department of Insurance director Judith L. French said.
French provided the following insurance insights to jumpstart your new year insurance review.
Your choice of coverage limits, deductible amounts, and endorsements impacts how much you pay.
Major home improvements may impact your property value and insurance amount to properly insure your home. Report them to your agent.
Flood insurance is typically not included in standard homeowners and renters policies and has to be purchased separately.
Review your deductible amounts for comprehensive and collision coverages. Raising or lowering this amount can affect your premium.
If your liability insurance, which pays for injury or damage you cause, is too low you may be legally exposed for any damages above your liability limits.
If you are driving less, let your agent know. It could lower your premium amount.
Check your insurer’s provider lists to be certain your doctors, specialists, and hospitals are still covered by your policy.
Make note of co-pays and co-insurance amounts for in-network and out-of-network providers to be prepared for possible out-of-pocket costs.
After receiving Explanation of Benefits information following medical care, verify if your insurance benefits were correctly applied to your in-network and out-of-network deductible and your out-of-pocket maximum costs.
Evaluate the different types of life insurance. Changes in the areas of marriage, divorce, children, loans, employment, or retirement may mean life insurance alterations.
Certain life events can be a reason to increase or decrease benefits, adjust certain policy features such as insured riders or interest-bearing options, and to update beneficiaries.
Review your annual statement to verify if your current premium meets or exceeds the policy’s costs. Your annual statement also provides information on your outstanding loan amounts. This may affect your cash value or death benefit and interest credited to the policy’s cash value.
Lastly, it’s important to carefully read your insurance policies and consider engaging an insurance agent in your review. And don’t forget to inquire about discounts for bundling insurance products with the same company, being a good driver, long-time customer, senior citizen, and/or a member of the military.
Consumers with insurance questions can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 800-686-1526 and [email protected] Additional educational insurance information can be found at insurance.ohio.gov.