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Spring Cleaning List: checking in with your agent about your policy!


3 tips for ‘spring cleaning' your insurance policies
While you're giving your home some TLC during your annual spring cleaning ritual, don't forget to revisit those dusty insurance policies.
It is very important to take the time to put your auto, home, and life insurance policies in order from time to time. After all, as your life changes, wouldn't you want your protection to change as well?
Here are four tips for making sure your insurance is as neat and tidy as your home.
1. Wash and wax your car insurance policy.
Check to see whether your car insurance needs a tune-up. Make sure your collision and comprehensive coverage fits your needs.
A collision policy pays to fix your own vehicle after a crash, while comprehensive pays for damage not caused by collisions. A comprehensive policy covers losses from such things as theft, fire, vandalism or storms.
While checking your car insurance, make sure you get all the discounts you're entitled to. If you have a teen driver on your policy, he or she may qualify for a good-student discount. If your teen is going away to college and won't be using your car during the school year, you may qualify for a premium reduction..

2. Brush cobwebs off your homeowner's policy.
When updating your homeowner's policy, Moore says, the first thing to do is make sure you'll have enough insurance to replace your home if it's badly damaged. Replacement value is not the same as the market value, which can fluctuate greatly. You'll need enough money to pay for the labor and the materials needed to restore your home to its former condition.
Insurance agents or local contractors may be able to help you determine your home's replacement cost. Also, several websites can help you estimate the cost.
Moore also suggests creating an updated inventory of home possessions. That way you'll be able to give an accurate account of what was lost in a fire, natural disaster or burglary. If you've acquired valuables that exceed your home policy limits – such as paintings, jewelry or collectibles – ask your agent about adding a rider.
Tully Lehman, a spokesman for the nonprofit Insurance Information Network of California, says one way to cut home insurance costs is to "bundle" your home and car insurance coverage with one insurer.
3. Polish your life insurance.
Cindy Gentry, chair-elect of the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE), says updating life insurance beneficiaries is important. For example, if you've divorced, you may need to remove an ex-spouse from your policy.
If you have term life insurance – with a guaranteed annual premium for the duration of the policy – make sure you're aware of when the term ends, so you'll have time to shop for another policy if necessary, says Brian Ashe, treasurer of LIFE. Otherwise, you could face a major premium hike.
Moore suggests making sure the amount of your life insurance policy is appropriate. Not everyone views life insurance as a way to leave large gifts to heirs or charitable organizations, he says. "Some people want just enough to cover burial expenses," Moore says.