COLUMBUS — The beginning of the new year is a great time to review your financial protection by evaluating your insurance coverage, said Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment.
“Even if you haven’t experienced a life changing event, you may qualify for discounts or a different insurance product could better serve your needs,” Froment said. “Talk with your agent and review your policies to determine if any coverage adjustments make sense for you and your family.”
Froment suggests starting your evaluation with these insurance policies:
Changes such as a marriage, a child, divorce, mortgage, job, or retirement are indicators that you might need to alter your life insurance policy. Life events can be a reason to increase or decrease your benefits, adjust certain policy features such as insured riders or interest bearing options, and to update your beneficiaries.
Review your annual statement to verify if your current premium meets or exceeds the policy’s costs. Your annual statement also provides information on your outstanding loan amounts, which may affect your cash value or death benefit and interest credited to the policy’s cash value.
Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Create a home inventory using the free app myHOME Scr.APP.book. It aids in the process of purchasing adequate insurance and assists with claim filing. You may need special coverage limits for big-ticket items like electronics, art, jewelry or sporting equipment.
Remember that flood insurance is not included in standard homeowners and renters policies. It must be purchased separately and a 30-day waiting period applies until coverage begins.
Liability coverage pays for any injury or damage if you cause an accident. If your liability insurance is too low you may be legally exposed for any damages above your liability limits.
Review your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. This is the amount you will pay if your car is damaged or totaled without fault of another driver. Raising or lowering this amount can affect your premium.
Download the free WreckCheck app. After an accident it will help you gather necessary information, assist with claim filing and send information to your agent.
You may have recently enrolled or changed your health insurance through your employer, Medicare or Ohio’s federally-run exchange. Make sure you have new insurance cards and paperwork before visiting a doctor.
Check your insurer’s provider lists to be certain your doctors, specialists and hospitals are still covered by your policy. In-network or preferred provider lists can change over time.
Read through your documents and make note of co-pays and co-insurance amounts for in-network and out-of-network providers to be prepared for possible out-of-pocket costs.
When you receive Explanation of Benefits information following medical care, you can verify if benefits were applied to your in-network and out-of-network deductible and your out-of-pocket maximum costs.
If you disagree with how a claim was processed, contact your insurer to file an appeal.
Consumers with insurance questions can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information.