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It’s Time for the Semi-Annual Insurance Check-up

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Victoria Secret isn't the only organization putting a semi-annual event together. It's time for the semi-annual insurance check-up at Lazy Man headquarters. Admittedly, it's slightly less sexy than Victoria's event, but our budget for pulling it off is around $15, enough for a couple of Subway subs and some drinks.

Every 6 months (or so), my wife and I gather to review our insurance policies. It's about as much fun as it sounds, which is "not very." It's not like doing a quarterly net worth update and seeing progress towards our savings.

For many people, a semi-annual insurance check-up is probably an easy thing. You've got your home, car, life, maybe an umbrella policy. You probably get health insurance through your job. Maybe it's just me, but I think we have it a little more complicated than most. We have:

  • Home Insurance - As we own three properties, we have one policy for our primary residence and two more landlord policies protecting the other properties. Even when it is one type of insurance, the various requirements are completely different.
  • Car Insurance - We currently have three cars, which is really one too many for our needs. That extra car costs us more with insurance payments and it's on the docket to fix that soon.
  • Life Insurance - My wife gets some life insurance from the military. We were going to get her more, but it seems that insurers didn't want to give a policy to someone who was pregnant with Little Man. Also since weight is a factor in the premiums, it just seemed like the wrong time to add to it. I was able to get life insurance for myself. Now I'm thinking about upping it, but I wonder if that will trigger a new exam and put me on higher premium level. That's a phone call to make.
  • Umbrella Policy / Business Insurance - When I was freelancing for a company they required me to get this insurance to cover themselves in case I purposely did something stupid. I'm glad they did. It doesn't that much and it's nice to know that it is around.
  • Diamond Ring Insurance - This is actually just a rider on our property insurance, but it's another thing that needs to be insured.

The last one was particularly interesting as during one of these checks we found that we had been paying two companies to insure my wife's diamond ring. She thought it was her responsibility to pay for the insurance and opened up something. I had already put it on property insurance for the condo that I had owned when we came into the marriage. It was with two different companies so it wasn't something a company would have picked up on.

Typically our review isn't much more than taking the above inventory and then calling our insurance company to run through everything and see if we have any gaps somewhere. We're down to three insurance companies for everything, but hopefully we'll consolidate further so that one representative can give us a complete view in the future.

Last updated on July 3, 2013.

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6 Responses to “It’s Time for the Semi-Annual Insurance Check-up”

  1. Money Beagle says:

    We have a rider on our homeowners insurance for my wife’s diamond ring. We hadn’t had it appraised since it was purchased in 2006, and had it done last year. It appraised for over double what it had originally (and what it was insured for). I think a lot of that had to do with the price of gold having skyrocketed, as well as increase in the prices of diamonds. We increased the coverage. If you haven’t had your insured jewelry appraised in more than 3-4 years, I’d highly recommend doing so.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Money Beagle, that’s a pretty good idea. I purchased the diamond for my wife around the same time you did (great minds think alike I guess).

      So if it appraises for more, I’d be on the hook to pay more for insurance for it, right? Of course the bright side of things is that if anything happens to it, I’d be able to replace it at full value. Though I think that I got replacement insurance for it at the time. It’s just another to be reviewed, I guess.

      Fortunately, no gold in the ring. As I mentioned earlier this week, not a big fan of the stuff… even for jewelry.

  2. Amit says:

    A couple of points —
    We got life insurance when we were expecting our first child. I had the same concerns about the effect of pregnancy on the life insurance policy. However, every agent we talked to said it was no problem – that in fact this is the most common time for people to shop for life insurance, so they are used to dealing with it.

    About insuring the diamond ring — did you buy a really expensive ring (>10% annual income, or > 2.5% of current net worth)? Is it really worth insuring specially? At this stage in your life, can’t you just self-insure?

    • Lazy Man says:

      I had no problem getting life insurance for myself, but my wife was more difficult. Again, a good amount of the premium is based on maintaining a healthy weight and my wife’s weight with the pregnancy is not where it normally would be. We could get life insurance, but we’d have to pay more.

      Insurance is pretty cheap on the ring. We could self-insure if we wanted to, but the low cost doesn’t make it a big issue.

  3. MJS says:

    I’m still surprised that she would pay a higher premium. I insured quite a few pregnant women, including my wife, and the companies I used all asked for pre pregnancy weight. In fact’, they didn’t even weigh her and the policy was a significant one. As long as the pregnancy weight was in normal range, most companies will use the pre-pregnancy weight for rating and pricing purposes.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Hmmm, I guess USAA’s is different. They were quite clear that we’d be better off if we came back 6 weeks (or maybe more) after the birth. There could also have been some fears about increased risk of death in delivery that weren’t weight-related.

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