National Insurance Awareness Day - June 28

Individuals often have numerous insurance products - auto, homeowners, renters, life, health, long term care, travel, warranty and more. Find a central location for all your policies. A safe deposit or fireproof lock box is ideal. Create a written record that details the insurance carrier, type of coverage, policy number and agent/customer service contact. Update this information as you add or change insurance carriers. Let loved ones know where your insurance policies are located.

Individual insurance needs change over time. A milestone birthday, a different marital status, the birth of a child, switching jobs, relocating, or buying a home or car are good times to re-evaluate, update and possibly buy additional insurance protection.

Start with your auto and homeowners policies. Review coverages, limitations, exclusions and loss settlement provisions. Be familiar with policy terms and look for coverage gaps. Confirm the dwelling coverage limit on your home is in line with policy co-insurance requirements. Create a personal property inventory to evaluate and obtain adequate insurance on belongings. Consider buying a separate flood insurance policy. Verify specifics like name and address, lienholder, vehicle information, physical damage (comp/collision), extra coverages (towing, rental car, etc.) and household drivers are accurate. Choose auto and homeowners insurance limits in line with financial assets.

National Insurance Awareness Day is also a reminder to periodically compare insurance options. Hundreds of companies sell auto, home, life and other insurance products. Rates and eligibility guidelines vary by insurer. Ask about discounts and shop around. Avoid deciding on price alone, however, as policies are not uniform (except Medicare supplement plans). Take time to review and compare coverages, limitations and restrictions. Be certain the insurer under consideration has a good financial strength rating, complaint record and is licensed to operate in this state. Unlicensed companies are not subject to Illinois insurance laws.