2023 New Year's Insurance Resolutions
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It’s almost time to look back on 2022 and consider what we did right and what we may have done differently had we been wiser. Setting New Year’s resolutions to save money during this period of high inflation should also carry over to the insurance policies you hold. Many Americans buy car insurance and don’t want to deal with the hassle of switching carriers, so they renew, even when prices have gone up considerably. Or, people consider buying life insurance but find the options so confusing (and expensive) that they put it off another year, not realizing that their rate will only increase as they get older. Switching carriers or finding an agent who can help you make good decisions is really not complicated. Here are some tips on how to weave your insurance resolutions with your other to-do’s for 2023.
You may be able to trim costs on many of the things you spend money on, and your insurance products are no different. Snip $50 here, $50 there, and boom that’s $1100 a year in savings. And you may be able to save even more than that.
The best way to figure out how to spend the least amount of money on car insurance is to sit down and consider how and when the folks in your household drive. Are they speed demons or are they extremely cautious drivers? Do you commute to work or rarely drive? How about the cars you all own – are they old or new? These are just a few questions to ask yourself to determine if telematics car insurance or a pleasure driver status may save you money.
Telematics car insurance will only save you money if you’re a careful driver and if you don’t drive very often. Low-mileage car insurance is just one way to save. Another option is to combine all your policies for a multi-car discount. Also, if you have older cars, consider whether or not you should have collision and comprehensive coverages. If your car is worth less than two or three thousand dollars, chances are that you don’t need these extras. Have you gone through all the discounts your carrier offers? How many apply? Ask also about affiliations and memberships that may also bring you savings. Also, save up to 10% for taking a defensive driving course!
Home Insurance and Renters Insurance
Don’t try to save money by cutting these essential policies. If you have, it’s time to shop for a new home insurance policy or renters insurance if you rent your home. To be without means total loss if there’s a fire or burglary, and buying everything you own all over again is expensive.
Lower your policy premiums by increasing your deductible instead, but make sure you have that amount in your savings at minimum. If you don’t, that should be your #1 New Year’s resolution. You can also lower rates by installing a security system. How much you’ll save is based on how comprehensive the system is. Are you just installing cameras you monitor with your phone or are you hiring a 24-hour surveillance service?
Check the dwelling coverage portion of your homeowners insurance policy. Make sure it reflects what it would cost to rebuild your home today, not the market value of your home and land. You may be paying way too much for home insurance right now! If you compare rates according to your new dwelling coverage amount, you may save hundreds of dollars.
You may or may not save money by bundling your home or renters with auto insurance. To know for sure, compare rates bundled and separately.
Some of us who want to avoid becoming hoarders start to organize and get rid of clutter at the start of the new year. This is also a great time to create a home inventory of all your belongings in case a terrible storm, a fire or a thief compromise your assets. Even if you think your possessions aren’t worth much, if you had to start all over again, wouldn’t you rather get some help from your home insurance company than buy everything out-of-pocket?
The best way to create an inventory is to videotape all your belongings and upload them to cloud storage so they will stay preserved in the event of a disaster. It’s also a good idea to begin a price list for each item by finding out how much the item costs if you were to buy it today.
Actual Cash Value Vs. Replacement Cost Value
Your homeowners insurance or renters insurance will usually only replace your belongings at actual cash value vs replacement cost value, unless it’s specified otherwise in your policy. Consider which you’d prefer to have: A replacement cost home insurance policy will be more expensive than actual cash value, but you’ll get much more back if you have to replace all your stuff.
Check the Value of Your New-and-Improved Home
If you’ve renovated your home or made any significant changes, then it’s definitely time to revisit your policy or, better yet, increase your coverage after you switch so you don’t feel the price increase as much.
Resolutions for Your Health
In addition to vowing to eat better and exercise more, you’ll need a good health insurance plan to get the most benefits in case you do have health issues. There are many more subsidies this year with marketplace health plans, and when you compare rates, you will see which are available to you based on your income. Even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy, comparing plans and rates will bring you the greatest savings.
For Medicare patients, not that Medicare Advantage plans cover vision and dental, which is not typically covered by Original Medicare. Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Advantage plans may also be rising if you use out-of-network providers. It may be the year to look for a new plan at a better price!
Even those who are fit and relatively young may unexpectedly lose their lives, leaving behind loved ones who are vulnerable to a major financial setback. Even stay-at-home moms should have life insurance, to cover expenses related to homemaking and childcare. Too many couples and single parents put off this very important type of insurance, not knowing that each year only makes the premium on a policy increase.
Also, note that some types of life insurance have a savings and/or an investment component and may cover you for a lifetime. Most Americans buy term life insurance, which does not have a savings or investment component but costs less and has an expiration date.
Life insurance is a very complex product with so many options for plans. You’ll want to partner with a trustworthy agent to fully understand each type of plan. When you shop with SmartFinancial, you’ll be contacted by three or four agents to choose from. Choose who is best at educating you, and you’ll have a better idea of which type of life insurance is best for you.
Growing Wealth Wisely
Commercial Insurance is a vital tool to ensure that your business stays afloat if the unthinkable happens, like a winter storm destroys the building or a guest trips and falls while in your shop or office. And how about the fact that you use your vehicle for work purposes? Did you know that you won’t be covered if you have an accident if you don’t have commercial auto insurance?
Make 2023 the year that you pay attention to your insurance needs and get the right plan at the right price. You’ll save money and if anything goes awry, you will have peace of mind!