If you are an employee, a homeowner, a car owner, or any combination of these, insurance isn’t likely a new topic for you. You may have life insurance through your employer, and if you financed your car or house, you were probably required to purchase some kind of insurance. What you might not know is that you may have serious gaps in your insurance coverage that can quickly drain your bank account.
At Millhiser Smith, we want you be protected when disaster strikes. Here are a few of the most common gaps in home, life, and auto insurance coverage that you should be mindful of.
Home Insurance Coverage Gaps
You may assume that if you lose your home to disaster that your insurance will pay the full cost to replace your home. In reality, many insurance policies have a cap on the replacement cost up to the amount stated on your policy, and a recent study found that 60% of US homes were undervalued. This means if you’ve added on or made any improvements, your coverage may fall short. Make sure that your home insurance coverage reflects the actual replacement cost of your home.
Along those lines, certain disasters may not even be covered under an “all perils” coverage statement. Policy owners in Iowa should be aware that, often times, damage caused by floods is only covered by special additions to your policy, maybe even a separate policy altogether.
Another important coverage gap arises when you move. Even if you still own your home, once you move out, many policies will end coverage for that property. Contact your insurance agent before you plan to move out to be sure you have the proper coverage.
Life Insurance Coverage Gaps
As we mentioned above, many employers offer life insurance and may even pay part of your premium. So what if you decide to switch careers and leave your current job? Your current policy may not transfer, you may not have the same amount, or the type of insurance may change.
Additionally, life insurance through employers generally covers about 1 to 3 times your salary. Unfortunately, this is rarely enough for your family members to cover expenses. The American Council of Life Insurers recommends having coverage 7 to 10 times your salary.
Talk with your insurance agent if you change jobs or to purchase additional life insurance coverage and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
Auto Insurance Coverage Gaps
The amount of car insurance coverage you have may not protect you as much as you think either. Even a comprehensive coverage policy often does not cover belongings stolen from inside your vehicle. This is generally something to add to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
If your car is stolen or totaled, make sure to be aware of gaps in insurance coverage for lease or rental vehicles. Insurance for rental vehicles often doesn’t cover the loss of use expenses to the rental company. And loss of a leased vehicle typically only covers the replacement cost and not the total outstanding balance of your lease.
Finally, who exactly is covered for all of these vehicles? Generally, policies provide coverage for you and the family members who live with you. If you have children off at college this fall, they may no longer be covered under your policy if they live off-campus.
Be sure to review all of your insurance policies annually so that you and your family don’t have any unexpected gaps in your coverage. Contact Millhiser Smith with any questions or to get a free quote.