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Take Time to Talk

A policy review can help you get more out of your insurance.
By Robin Jones

Consider this common scenario: When Joe Evans bought a new car, he called his insurance company to add it to his policy and asked for full coverage on it. But like most people, Joe was not really sure what full coverage meant, and that’s not surprising. For some people, it means just comprehensive and collision coverage, while for others, it also includes liability coverage. Either way, full coverage is a misleading term that can leave out coverages that are important to you.

Joe learned from his agent that, among other things, his policy did not include car rental expense coverage. If Joe were to have an accident and his car ended up in the shop, he’d be on his own to pay for a rental car. Because he didn’t live near public transit or have easy access to a car from a friend or relative, Joe decided to add car rental expense coverage to his policy. Had he not checked with his insurance agent upfront, he might’ve had to learn about this option the hard way.

If you haven’t checked your auto and homeowners insurance coverage recently, then your current coverage may not be adequately protecting your needs and may not take into account important changes in your life. Consider these additional situations where it makes sense to talk to your insurance agent.

You may need more coverage or different coverage. Major life events–like a change in your marital status, a move, or the birth of a child–can affect your insurance needs. Other events, such as renovating your home, adding a teen driver, or buying a new car may also call for more or different coverage. When these kinds of events happen, examine your auto, home, and life policies to make sure you have the right types of coverage and sufficient limits for your needs.

You’re not taking advantage of all available discounts. When you first bought insurance, your agent went over available discounts to make you aware of savings opportunities. You might already be taking advantage of multi-policy discounts by having your insurance policies with one company. But insurance providers sometimes add new discounts, says Steve Schone, Vice President, Sales, AAA Missouri. “If you haven’t reviewed your policy with your insurance representative lately, you might not know about all of them.”

Your insurance company doesn’t have your current contact information. These days, many insurance companies communicate with their insureds via email, phone, and text messages. During a policy review, you can go over your contact information with your insurance representative to make sure it’s up-to-date. Many insurance companies send emails, for example, that notify you of a past-due bill, confirm a payment, or alert you to a new discount or product.

Your insurer offers valuable new products. Insurance companies sometimes add new products and services that could help you avoid an insurance claim in the future. For example, AAA now offers the free AAA OnBoard Teen Safe Driver program so you can coach your teen driver in more responsible driving practices and locate him or her on the road when necessary.

Robin Jones is a contributor from Long Beach, Calif.

Make sure your car and home have adequate insurance coverage for your needs. Your insurance representative can provide more details. Stop in at a AAA branch,
call 1-888-428-8625, or go to AAA.com/insurance.

Mar/Apr 2012 Issue

ASK AN AGENT

Lauren Galligan

Q: I purchased my insurance from a different company during a 15-minute phone call. Now I’m concerned that the coverage isn’t right for me. Can I talk to a AAA insurance agent about the coverage options you offer?

A: Yes. Even if you’re not insured through AAA, we’d be happy to talk to you and explain the options and coverages that we offer. Just call or visit your local branch, and one of our insurance representatives will spend as much time with you as necessary to help you understand your insurance choices so that you can choose the coverage that’s right for you.

- Lauren Galligan
AAA Sales Agent
Metairie, La.


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