The following are some very opportune moments to review your auto insurance policy:

1 - WHEN YOUR RATES SEEM TOO HIGH - If your rates are higher than those around you and it can't be explained by a poor driving record or other factors, you are probably overpaying.  Check with and INDEPENDENT AGENT to review your policy and look at alternatives.

2 - REACHING AGE 55 - Many auto insurance companies begin to offer discounts to drivers age 55 and older, but you have to be proactive!

3 - JUST MARRIED - Although insurance is likely the last thing on your mind during this time, most insurance companies offer discounts when you insure more than one car on the same policy, so its a perfect time to compare quotes and find the best deal.

4 - PURCHASING A NEW CAR - Insurance rates can vary substantially between different vehicles, so it is important to find this out early on to avoid an unpleasant surprise later!  It could end up being one of the factors in your car buying decision. 

5 - MOVING - Insurance rates can vary even from one suburb to the next, and vary substantially between rural and urban communities.  If you are moving to a rural area, be sure to check it out because you will likely be eligible for a significant rate decrease!

What is property and casualty insurance?  Honestly, before I was involved in the industry, I had very little knowledge of the many types of insurance included under the property/casualty category.  Technically, property insurance protects a person or business with an interest in physical property against its loss or the loss of its income-producing abilities.  Casualty insurance mainly protects a person or business against legal liability for losses caused by injury to other people or damage to the property of others. 

Many commercial lines of insurance include coverage for automobile, liability for business owners, equipment breakdown, farm, market segments, medical professional liability, property, and workers compensation.

Personal lines include coverage for automobile, property, homeowners, personal liability, and watercraft. 

Anything that could run a risk of a lawsuit against yourself or your business should be considered in seeking out property and casualty insurance.  Also, anything you own that is essential in your ability to produce income should definitely be insured as well.

The first and foremost thing to look for in a homeowner’s policy is to make sure that your policy is a guaranteed replacement cost policy.  This is because the guaranteed replacement cost ensures that the entire replacement cost due to fire or other disaster will be covered, regardless of the dollar amount needed for replacement.  A cash value policy places a limitation on the amount of coverage and with inflation and rising costs this could leave you severely underinsured.  Also, make sure that your home is covered in its entirety.  Be aware that homeowner’s policies do not cover earthquake or flood, so be sure to purchase a separate policy if you live in a high risk area. 

A homeowner's policy also protects your assets within the home.  Be sure to include adequate protection and take inventory of high dollar items such as jewelry, collectibles, furniture, and expensive clothing.

A good homeowner's policy should also include liability coverage of at least $100,000.  This simply covers you in the event that a neighbor hurts themselves in your home or yard or if your dog destroyed the neighbor's yard…  This can also be very important if you own a trampoline or swimming pool.  If your risk is a little higher, consider increasing your liability coverage. 

The first pitfall in auto insurance is the most obvious… HIGH RATES! 

Rates are calculated by many factors including age, marital status, occupation, kind of car, credit score, driving record, etc.  The basic rates you see are usually more expensive than the rates you could get by sharing more of your information with a qualified agent.  Please, consult with your agent or contact your carrier for info.  Remember informed consumers never overspend!

Another pitfall is insufficient coverage.  Every State has a minimum requirement coverage that should be sufficient but isn’t always the case.  Especially if you own substantial assets or property, consult with your accountant to determine what level of coverage will be sufficient for you. 

Also, if your auto insurance does not fully cover damages in an accident in which you are at fault, you will be responsible for property damage repairs or medical expenses of injured parties.

The most important thing is to review your policy terms periodically.  This will allow you to review your life circumstances as they change throughout the year.  Many times you will find that your old policy will no longer be appropriate for your current needs and situation.