Don’t skip your annual insurance policy review
Planning for 2021? Don’t forget to do an annual insurance policy review.
As you take stock and make plans for 2021, don’t overlook your insurance portfolio. It’s an important part of your overall financial plan and warrants an annual review. Changes in your personal and professional life should be reflected in your insurance portfolio with changes in the level of protection you maintain or with the addition of new and different insurance products to offer the broadest coverage for you and your family.
Where to begin?
The first thing you’ll want to do is gather up all your important insurance documents. Keeping your insurance policies and important documents in a single location helps make this an easy task. If you’ve not been good about maintaining a single location for all your important documents maybe this year you can establish that practice. Consider scanning documents or asking carriers to send pdfs of insurance policies to eliminate paper and store them all in one electronic insurance folder.
Don’t go it alone, find a trusted source.
As a physician, you have unique insurance coverage needs. As you conduct your annual insurance review, it’s important that you work with insurance professionals who understand the unique character of your profession and the impact it has on your overall financial goals and insurance needs. For more than 30 years, AMA Insurance has been helping physicians obtain insurance protection and the access to financial advisors they may need to help build a healthy financial future.
Check that your disability insurance has kept pace with your salary.
Disability insurance is critical to your family’s financial future. Having disability insurance designed specifically for physicians is paramount. If it has been awhile since you purchased your disability income insurance, you may find that there are gaps in your coverage. Your disability income insurance is designed to help replace income for you and your family if you are unable to practice. If the benefit level of your policy has not kept pace with your professional accomplishments and salary increases, you’re probably underinsured. Supplementing your existing individual disability policy or employer group disability coverage to offer you increased portable protection makes sense. A knowledgeable Insurance Specialist who understands physician disability insurance can help you build a sound disability insurance protection plan.
The Insurance Specialists at AMA Insurance are here to listen, answer your questions, and offer targeted solutions to your disability insurance needs. Our specialists are non-commissioned, salaried employees and have no sales quotas to meet. Their sole purpose is to assist you without pressure, judgement, or jargon.
Important considerations as you review your disability insurance policy:
Do you have future increase options in your disability contract that can be exercised? Some contracts offer these increases at specific times and/or provide a use-it-or-lose-it, one-time opportunity. So, understanding what you have and when you can exercise the increase is important.
Do you have the right mix of coverage? Many young physicians enter an employed setting upon completion of residency and are provided traditional group long term disability coverage through their employer. But coverage with most group plans ends should you decide to leave. Purchasing supplemental physician disability coverage that stays with you, even if you change employers is important – especially for younger physicians who can typically secure lower rates while they’re younger and healthier.
Make sure your life insurance meets your current needs.
Your life insurance needs can change over the course of a year. Many life events impact the amount of life insurance you may require – changing jobs, getting married, a new child, moving, a child leaving home and becoming financially independent, retirement. Reviewing your life insurance can help ensure that life’s many changes haven’t left you with a gap in the amount of coverage you need.
Life insurance is at the foundation of a solid financial plan and it should evolve with the changes in your life. Term life insurance offers a simple, affordable way to safeguard the financial health of your family if something happens to you. Navigating the ins and outs of life insurance—understanding how much is the right amount, when and what type of life insurance to buy—can be made easier when you consult a trusted source.
AMA Insurance has a team of non-commissioned Insurance Specialists ready to help you find a life insurance solution that meets your unique need for protection. Their sole purpose is to assist you without pressure in order to help you strengthen your insurance protection plan.
A few questions to think of as you review your life insurance coverage:
- Do you have a term policy nearing the end of its term? Does the contract allow you to 'convert' the coverage to a whole life policy? Or are their other steps you could take to “renew” coverage and simply purchase a new “term”?
- Do you have any “living benefits” in your life insurance plans? For example, in the event you became terminally ill and accumulated large bills for your treatment, could you tap into your policy NOW to cover those costs? Understanding the “what ifs” in life and how you’ll protect your family are important considerations during an annual review.
You’ll also want to review your beneficiary designations—it’s important to update these forms when there are changes in your family situation.
Check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for gaps.
Too often homeowners and renters purchase an insurance policy when they first move in and don’t take the time to reassess their policy and needs. This oversight can lead to a gap in coverage.
If it’s been sometime since you purchased that homeowners or renter’s policy and you’ve done some home renovations or added to your personal possessions, it’s likely that policy doesn’t offer the full protection you think it does. Take some time to review your policy while you consider the value of what you own. Does your insurance provide a discount for home security systems or cover identify fraud? These features can help keep you safe and save you money.
Don’t overlook your auto insurance.
Like a tune up for your car, your auto insurance might need an adjustment. An annual review of your auto insurance might help you find ways to save that you hadn’t considered. If you’ve changed jobs or moved recently, the impact on your daily commute might have an effect on how much you’re paying for your insurance. Other things that can change your premium costs include certain milestone birthdays, maintaining good credit, taking driver safety courses and having student drivers earn good grades. Going over your policy could end up saving you money. Combining auto and homeowners with a single insurance carrier often provides discounts – check to make sure that you’re getting all the discounts available to you.
The final step—take action.
When you complete the review of your insurance policies, you will hopefully gain a clear picture of the ability of your insurance policies to protect you and your family. But it doesn’t end there. It’s important that you take the next step and fill in any gaps in coverage by adding to your existing coverage or explore new insurance protection. As a physician you have invested a great deal into your ability to practice medicine, that requires the broadest protection you can find for yourself, your family, and your practice. With your financial goals in mind and a full assessment of your current insurance you’re ready to build out a more robust insurance portfolio.
For more than 30 years, AMA Insurance has been helping physicians and their families meet their unique insurance needs. As a subsidiary of the American Medical Association, we tap into the power of over one million physicians to offer you competitive rates and tailored benefits from top insurance companies.