When should you obtain insurance? An expert gives advice

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As people get older, their need for financial advice and protection tends to grow and change. After all, once they pass 55, many adults simply have more financial assets — employer-sponsored retirement accounts, real estate and investments. It’s important to make sure those assets are protected.

Now may be the best time to re-evaluate the insurance policies you have in place and to make sure you have the coverage you need.

For instance, it could be time to increase how much life insurance you have. If you purchased a policy earlier in life, that coverage may not be enough to provide for your family if your income goes away.

“Since life insurance isn’t a one size fits all product, you will want to sit down with your insurance agent and discuss your goals, so you can find something appropriate for your needs,” Chris Seabrook, Atlanta-based insurance agent and COUNTRY Financial representative told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Life insurance can help protect your family financially in the event of your passing.”

Another possible consideration is adding umbrella coverage to your existing homeowners and auto insurance coverage.

Umbrella insurance coverage provides additional liability coverage above and beyond the liability coverage your home and auto policies have. So if you are in a car wreck and you are deemed legally responsible for the wreck, you are responsible for paying for the repairs to the other car as well as any medical expenses for the other driver. If you have $300,000 in liability coverage on your auto policy but the other driver’s expenses are $450,000, you’ll have to pay the remaining $150,000 out of pocket. Umbrella coverage would pay that $150,000 for you.

Uninsured motorist coverage is another type of insurance you may want to add to your existing auto insurance policy.

This coverage pays your car repair bills and medical expenses if the driver at fault doesn’t have car insurance. Having uninsured motorist coverage could preserve your savings or keep you out of medical debt should you get hurt or have to replace your car following a wreck with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.

If you aren’t sure you have the insurance coverage you need, schedule an appointment with your insurance agent to see how you can fill in any holes.

“As you age, it’s likely that your needs will change,” Seabrook said. “Conducting regular insurance reviews with your insurance agent will make sure that you don’t have any gaps in coverage and that you have the right policies in place when you need them.”

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