Throughout life, you will experience changes that prompt you to reevaluate whether you have the right insurance coverage. Maybe you’ll get married, build a house or buy a car.  

According to the advocacy group Consumer Action, significant life changes may increase or decrease your risk and need for insurance protection.

Consult this checklist at least once a year, and give yourself an insurance checkup.  

Auto Insurance

To assess your auto coverage, consider:

  • Have you sold your car?
  • Have you bought a new car?
  • Do you have a new driver in the family?
  • Has your adult child moved out of the house, leaving you with one less driver?
  • Has your potential liability increased? (Maybe you drive a carpool or work for Uber.)
  • Has the number of miles you drive each year increased or decreased significantly?
  • Do you have an old car that is not worth repairing if damaged in an accident? (If so, the Insurance Information Institute says you might consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage.)
  • Have your assets increased? (You might have more to protect.)

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

When evaluating your homeowners or renters insurance, take these issues into account:

  • Have you married or divorced?
  • Have adult children moved in or out of your home?
  • Have you remodeled or added on to your home?
  • Have you added security alarms or a sprinkler system?
  • Have you upgraded your heating, plumbing or electric?
  • Have you added a swimming pool, hot tub, trampoline, tool shed or gazebo?
  • Have you acquired a dog? Or, do you no longer have one? (According to Consumer Action, dog bites are a top reason for homeowners insurance liability claims.)
  • Do you have more – or less – jewelry or electronics?
  • Do you rent your home? Do you operate an Airbnb?
  • Have you started a home-based business?
  • Are you at risk for flooding? (Standard home insurance policies do not cover flooding. You can buy flood insurance through an agent or the National Flood Insurance Program.)

Personal Liability Umbrella Policy

If you are ever involved in a lawsuit, your financial assets could be depleted quickly, even if you are not at fault.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a personal liability umbrella policy offers additional protection after you’ve reached the limit on the underlying liability coverage stated in your homeowners or auto policy.

Consider adding a personal liability umbrella to cover situations like the following:

  • A court orders you to pay for injuries or property damage caused by you or your family members.
  • Your teen driver is found negligent, and the amount you are required to pay exceeds your insurance limits. 
  • Your pet causes damage or injury.
  • You are found guilty of libel or slander.