Ask these four simple questions to ensure that your clients have adequate coverage at every stage of life.Major life decisions such as marrying, switching jobs, and renovating a home can change any client’s risk profile, creating sudden gaps in coverage. Yearly reviews with your clients provide an opportunity to discuss these developments and adjust their policies accordingly. As a trusted insurance advisor to all of your clients, it’s up to you to stay apprised of these significant transitions. Here are four questions to ask your clients so you can stay on the same page.
Have you gotten married or divorced?
Marriage causes a number of changes in a client’s insurance portfolio. Most significantly, it makes your client eligible for a life policy that provides for the surviving spouse if the other spouse dies prematurely. If your client already owns a life policy, it should be updated to document their newly married status. Your client also should consider disability insurance to protect their spouse if he or she cannot work.
Married couples often own two cars under two different auto policies. Combining those vehicles under one insurer could reduce your client’s rates. Conversely, a recently divorced client needs to purchase separate auto and/or homeowner insurance.
Have you renovated your home recently?
Many homeowners upgrade their homes without updating their homeowner policies. As a result, their policies don’t reflect the increased value of their property, leaving them with an outdated insurance policy that may not fully cover the cost of rebuilding or replacing property. Whenever a client improves their home, revise their homeowner’s policy to include any pricey renovations or additions. You should also encourage them to consider insuring valuables such as electronic equipment, jewelry, or even expensive art and antiques under a separate policy if those items aren’t covered by homeowner insurance.
If your client has purchased a second home or is considering purchasing a vacation property, they will need homeowner’s insurance for that asset as well. Since many second and vacation homes are located near water, your client may also need to purchase flood insurance.
Have you had a baby or is your teen driving?
A new baby means your client has increased financial commitments. A life or disability insurance policy can ensure that your family will always remain financially secure should the worst happen. If your client already has life insurance, remember to update their policy to include the new addition to the family.
Of course, babies grow up and learn to drive. Help your clients with a teenaged driver save on their child’s car insurance by adding the child to your client’s policy, which eliminates the need for a separate — and expensive — policy for the teenager. If their child has their own car, they can insure it with your client’s carrier for a multi-car discount. Teenaged drivers can also reduce their car insurance rates by maintaining good grades, taking a driving course, or buying a safe, easy-to-drive vehicle.
Have you changed jobs or retired?
A new job at a higher salary should prompt a corresponding increase in life and disability coverage for your client. In contrast, a client switching to a new job that doesn’t offer life or disability insurance will need those coverages now.
On the other hand, a client who has lost his or her job or taken a lower-salaried position may need to reduce their insurance payments. In that case, a better option for your client may be a term life policy at a reduced rate. If your client owns several policies, they can opt for a single policy for a reduced premium.
Your retired clients, meanwhile, can save on car insurance because they tend to fewer miles. Similarly, many auto insurers offer drivers over age 50 discounts.
Annual insurance checkups aren’t just necessary meetings. They’re also opportunities to deepen your relationship with your clients. Asking these simple questions strengthens your connection with them and helps you protects them against potential risks throughout their lives.