2016 will be over very shortly. The malls are already packed with holiday merchandisE,for savvy consumers, the end of the year isn’t just a chance to score a great deal on gifts, it’s a chance to reflect back on your insurance coverage. Here are four important insurance moves to make before year end.
File your claims
Like most people, you probably have a pile of papers sitting on your desk or dining room table. Sort through these papers immediately and find all your unclaimed insurance receipts for the year. While the exact date depends on the insurance company, there is a deadline to file unclaimed expenses. Maybe you were busy in January after you visited the dentist and never got around to getting reimbursed. File that paperwork now to get your money before it’s too late.
Use your 2016 benefits
Some medical insurance plans offer a certain amount of benefits per calendar year. If your insurance company offers $200 worth of prescription eyeglasses every calendar year, make sure you spend that $200 before it disappears. Although you might not need a new pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses now, it’s always great to have an extra pair lying around, especially if you can get them for free.
Hold off on treatments or purchases
On the other hand, you might want to hold off on certain treatments or purchases. Using the same example of $200 eyeglasses coverage as above, say you’ve already used up your $200 for 2016, but your glasses are now in need of repair. Instead of paying out of pocket for a new pair now, wait until 2017. Certain insurance company benefit limits reset each calendar year, so if you can hold off on a treatment or purchase, you can get it for free instead of paying full price.
Review your plan
Year end is also a great time to take a look at your total insurance picture. Depending on the type of insurance you have, you will need to review different things:
Car insurance: Will you be adding a new driver to your insurance soon? Do you still want to cover your own vehicle for damages or is its value too low? Are you still able to afford your payments or deductibles? Have you gotten a new job that affects your commute?
Medical insurance: Are you covered for everything you’d like to be covered for? Do you still need pricey dental insurance? Have you or your spouse added additional insurance through your jobs? Does this insurance overlap or are there gaps in coverage?
Home insurance: Have you done any updates, upgrades or repairs to your home this year? Have you made any expensive purchases that you absolutely want covered jewels, furs, antiques, collectibles, etc?Assess the changes to your needs and go from there.
Insurance can be complicated. Performing an annual review and talking to your insurance broker will help you stay up to date on your insurance coverage needs. At the end of the year, take a day to review your insurance policy and strategically plan out your insurance spending. While you’re at it, double check that you’ve filed all of your insurance claims for 2016.