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Saturday, February 1, 2014

10 Life Changes your Trusted Choice Insurance Agent Should Know About and Why

Our lives have never been busier than in these modern times.  Sometimes it feels our work is never done.  Even after work, we find ourselves checking emails and making phone calls while still tending to our own household needs.  Sometimes, in the midst of change, it's easy to forget the little things like contacting your insurance agent about household changes.  You may not even realize how these changes can benefit your insurance policies with discounts and premium changes. 

Here are the 10 life changes your insurance agent should know about and why:

A member of your household moves out of your home
A household member who establishes permanent residence away from your home needs his or her own policy. The members of your household sometimes affect your liability insurance premiums based on their age, status, employment and more. If your child is temporarily residing at a school residence, your homeowner's policy normally insures your child's belongings, subject to the terms in your policy. However, if your children are residing permanently away from home, they will need their own policies.  Should a household member be deceased, you should update the named insured on your policies with proper documentation such as the death certificate and copies of revised legal documents showing ownership changes.

Someone unrelated to you moves into your home
Tell your insurance agent immediately if someone unrelated to you moves into your home. It is very important that you discuss the situation to determine how the insurance needs of the new resident will be met. If a new resident of your household is renting from you, he or she should purchase their own renters or tenant insurance policy. In other situations, such as residents of your household who are under age 21 and in your care, or in the care of your resident relatives, coverage may be provided assuming that underwriting requirements are met and that an application for insurance is signed. Be sure to review your policy with your agent to verify that your policy coverage is current.

You change your name and/or Your marital status changes
If you change your name, you need to tell your insurance agent immediately so you are correctly and accurately listed as a covered person on your policy. Name differences are particularly an issue in the event of claim payments. Advise your insurance agent immediately to update named insured information on your policy and to include your spouse if recently married.  Your agent will also review your policy with this new information to make sure your policy information and coverage are up to date.

You have electrical updates or other updates to your home
If you have an older home and have recently updated your electrical service, breakers etc... This could mean savings for you in insurance premium. This is also often true for plumbing, roofing and other updates that you may overlook. Mitigation updates such as additional wind or flood protection may also provide you with insurance premium savings.  Let your Trusted Choice agent know!

You purchase a boat
Most homeowner policies provide limited coverage for small watercraft, such as a canoe or kayak, and related equipment such as trailers, accessories and some small outboard motors, but the best way to be certain your boat is insured properly is with a separate boat owner's policy, particularly for larger or more powerful boats.

You rent your home to others
Advise your Trusted Choice agent immediately if you rent your home to others. A review of your insurance needs will be conducted to determine that the correct policy is provided to cover your home. Your renters will need their own renter’s or tenant occupancy insurance. Failure to advise your insurer of residency changes can result in voiding of insurance contracts.

You accumulate alot of personal property
When you take into account furniture, clothes, personal electronics (TV, stereo, etc.) and appliances, you probably have more personal property than you realize! When you apply for coverage, take a complete inventory of your possessions to determine what you have and what it would cost to replace them. Whenever possible, include the approximate replacement cost of each item.

You work at home
If you have a home-based business, you may require additional insurance. You can change many homeowner, condo or renter's policy to include limited business or professional coverages.
Examples include:
•    Coverage for business or professional offices
•    Child care businesses in the home
•    Private schools or studios for music, dance, photography and other instructional purposes
•    Small service-oriented businesses, such as barber shops, beauty shops, tailors, dressmakers or shoe repair shops using handwork only
•    Property that provides merchandise storage

In some cases, a separate business insurance policy will be necessary. Your Trusted Choice Agent can advise you what you need for your protection.

You've renovated your home
If you've recently added square footage, decks, porches, workhops, swimming pools or any type of change that increases the value of your home, you should inform your insurer immediately. 

You are planning a major celebration
Many home policies provide liability coverage, but if you are planning a huge gathering such as a wedding or class reunion at your home, check with your Trusted Choice agent on liability options to provide you broader protection, particularly if you will be serving alcohol.

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Failure to update your insurance policy's home description can result in void of contract and/or unpaid claims, or other problems at the time of a claim.

Remember, these are just 10 reasons, but it is always best to check with your agent any time you make a change to your household just to be sure.  We also recommend that you regularly inventory your property to make sure you have enough coverage in the event of a total loss.  For a full insurance review, stop by one of our 3 convenient locations.  No appointment necessary, and we are always eager to assist.

Your Trusted Choice Insurance Agent stands ready to assist you. We help you through the maze of insurance coverages, carriers, and premiums, and we find the best personal and business coverage for you at affordable rates. We help you save money on insurance --- and we save you time!  And remember, when it comes to insurance, one size does not fit all.


We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com / ,
SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Brittany Jones, Wendy Johnson, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Susan Monti, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Michael Reso and Whitney Zimmerman at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email:
atreutel@southgroup.net , phone:228-466-4498, fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel !
We have 3 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi, 5400 Indian Hill-Diamondhead, and 412 Hwy 90 Ste 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS. We write coverage in 40 different states and can assist you with Mississippi insurance, Louisiana insurance, and Alabama insurance and many other states.

Thanks to Susan Monti for her words of wisdom!