Life can be hectic in general - we get it. Throw in a global pandemic and you've got more than enough on your plate. Sometimes it's hard to remember what day it is, let alone filling your insurance agent in on all that's changed in your world. But life's events, no matter how big or small, can play a significant part in your insurance scenario. So, it's important to carve out some time in your busy schedule to chat with your agent and make sure you're properly covered. To save you some extra leg work, we've come up with a list of noteworthy life events you should tell your insurance agent about pronto.
Call your agent if...
1. You've Moved
Have you recently transitioned from renter to homeowner? Or maybe you took full advantage of this red-hot real estate market, sold your house for top dollar, and landed your dream property with that picture-perfect home office space. Either way, if you're in the process of buying a new home, tell your agent right away. Your mortgage company will require proof of homeowners insurance before you've even closed on your loan, which means your agent will need to provide you with a binding homeowners policy quickly. Even if you're opting to rent for a little longer but decide to make a move to a new rental location, make sure and disclose that information to your agent. Not only does your agent need to know your new address, but your insurance carrier does too, so they can be sure your essential policy documents are sent to the correct place.
2. You're Remodeling
Since you've been home a little more lately, you probably realize all the problem areas in your pad that need those finishing touches you never had the time to get around to... until now! Say you updated your kitchen with all new appliances or expanded your Master Suite to feature your private, kid-free bathroom. Or maybe you've renovated the basement to now include your designated WFH space, installed a new roof, or finished out your attic for a cozy third story loft space. Major home improvements like these need to be reported to your insurance agent, as they all affect your coverage. You want to make sure all square footage and finishes are accounted for under your homeowner's policy so that if something were to happen to them, they'd be covered for the correct amount.
3. You've Made Changes To Your Outdoor Space
With warmer months on the brain, you may have found the motivation to build a neat backyard workshop, put up a functional privacy fence, or install an in-ground swimming pool. All of these improvements add value to your home and certain additions, like swimming pools, may require your liability coverage to increase. When you notify your agent about these changes, they'll make sure your coverage is enough to protect the investment of all the hard work spent improving your property.
4. Your Farm Has Grown
Farmers and their families who manage farm operations daily know the definition of "hectic" more than anyone else. Your farm is a full-fledged machine that never stops running, meaning you don't either. But if your farm welcomes some new additions, whether it be livestock, machinery/equipment, or buildings, let your agent know. Those expensive investments need to be properly identified on your insurance policy so you can have peace of mind knowing your farm, and all its moving parts, are covered.
5. You've Gotten Married/Divorced
You just tied the knot - congrats! After the wedding stress (we mean excitement) has finally died down, contact your agent to let them know you've got a new partner-in-crime and last name. On the flip side, maybe you've recently gotten divorced. If your ex-spouse no longer has an interest in your property, you should notify your agent so they can get them removed from your insurance policy. This simple change will make for a much easier claims experience for you, should you need to file one down the road.
6. You've Had A Change In Mortgage Companies
Have you taken advantage of low-interest rates and refinanced your home? Score! If you voluntarily changed mortgage companies to do so, make sure you tell your agent when all loan documents have been finalized. It's also important to remember that mortgage companies will often sell your loan to another mortgage institute, whether it be right away or years down the road. When you get a letter from your new mortgage company notifying you of the change, don't forget to send it to your agent. Your agent can then relay that switch-up to your insurance company, allowing them to update your information and send important insurance documents like your yearly bill, typically paid through an escrow account, to the right address. If your agent and insurance company aren't notified of the change in mortgage companies, your policy may lapse due to your bill not being sent to the correct place.
7. You've Started A New Job
If you've recently switched jobs, it can affect both your homeowners insurance and life insurance. If you have a CFM policy, a new occupation may mean you qualify for an additional discount on your coverage. CFM offers a discount to those who work or have worked in the military, educational field, police force, fire department, and farming occupations. Additionally, a new job may mean a higher income, which can result in your agent needing to increase your life insurance policy accordingly on your behalf.
8. You've Installed A Security System
Have you recently added an extra layer of safety to your property with the purchase of an in-home security system? If so, let your agent know, as you may qualify for a discount on your premium. CFM policyholders are eligible for a discount on their policy when they install a security system at their property because it shows an insurance company that you take safety seriously and are making extra efforts to protect your property.
Did You Know? CFM now offers policyholders free Roost Smart Sensors to protect against potentially devastating claims. These devices offer a blanket of security like an in-home security system and come with a discount to your CFM policy when activated. Learn more to see if you're an eligible candidate for our CFM Smart Home Program.
9. You've Bought a Business
Those brave enough to take on buying a business deserve a big pat on the back in our books. Whether the business you purchased is big or small, this life accomplishment is one to share with the world, including your insurance agent. Your agent can find the right insurance company to take on your risk and cover it appropriately, should anything happen. After all, the less worried you are about your new investment, the more you can enjoy the adventure of it all.
10. Your Identity Was Stolen
If you've fallen victim to identity theft, inform your insurance agent right away, as you may have coverage under the liability section of your policy. For no additional cost, CFM policyholders are covered for up to $15,000 in expenses incurred as a result of identity theft.
11. You've Recently Welcomed A New Child
Every parent knows that adding a new member to the family means new responsibilities. After you and your new little one settle in at home, take a few minutes to call your agent and let them know you've welcomed a child into the family. They will discuss necessary changes to your health and life insurance with you.
12. Your Child Has Gone Off To College
After the shock of your "baby" graduating high school wears off, call your agent to talk about getting your new college student covered while they're away working for their next diploma. CFM offers contents policies for students who may live in dorms or rent a space to live in during the school year. In fact, your homeowners policy may even extend coverage to your children up to a certain amount while they're away from home.
13. You've Purchased A New Car
Just like with buying a new house, buying a new car requires updated insurance. You'll need to contact your agent to cancel your auto insurance policy on your old vehicle if you've sold or traded it in and get coverage for your new set of wheels. Don't forget that if you have a lienholder on the car you just purchased, let your agent know their information, as they'll need to be added to your auto insurance policy. Don't forget to package your home and auto insurance with CFM to keep you and your budget happiest.
14. You Have A New Teen Driver On Your Hands
Did your teen just pass their driver's license test? If so, it likely means they're getting rewarded with a car of their own, or maybe they'll be borrowing yours here and there. Either way, let your agent know so they can add them under your coverage or get them a policy of their own for their new ride. CFM can offer your new driver a little extra liability coverage on top of their auto policy if needed for your peace of mind. Ask your CFM agent about our new Umbrella policy to find out how beneficial it could be for all the drivers in your household.
While these are just a few of the more important life changes to notify your insurance agent about, we recommend you visit your agent yearly to review your policies even if you haven't experienced any of these specific situations. Life can change at the drop of the hat, and your insurance policies should change right along with it.
Track down a CFM agent near you today to get a quote for home, auto, farm, or renters insurance.