This Popular Practice Stands the Test of Time

The annual insurance review is a practice that has been around for a long time for good reason—for several good reasons, actually. Annual reviews offer an opportunity for consumers to learn about new discounts and for you to sell additional coverages. They can build rapport and connection between you and your clients. And they add a layer of oversight for customers who may be short on insurance protection without realizing it.

Some think of the term “annual review” as something that should be done at the end or beginning of a calendar year, but doing them around renewal dates often makes more sense. This way you can space your clients throughout the year, aiming for periods that aren’t as hectic as the holidays.

What should be included in an annual insurance review? It may be helpful to think of it in five categories:

Changes in Value

Depending on where your client lives, home values may be increasing or decreasing. If the cost to rebuild has gone up, so should their coverage amount—especially if they are in an area like the West, where summer wildfires burned so many homes and other structures that materials and labor are now at a premium.

A decrease in value could also mean it’s time to adjust insurance. You know that it doesn’t make sense to include comprehensive and collision coverage once a vehicle’s value drops below a certain level, but does your client? Your ability to educate and explain why coverage levels should be adjusted up or down is a big part of the value you bring to the table.

Pricey Purchases and Unusual Artifacts

Some homeowners may not realize that they need additional coverage for things like an expensive new diamond anniversary ring or the valuable stamp collection they inherited from their grandmother. It can’t hurt to go through a list of possible items that may need special attention like jewelry, furs, antiques, etc. Doing this can help you uncover important coverage deficiencies.

New Discounts

Discounts come into play in an annual insurance review in two ways:

  1. An insurance company may have added a new discount that wasn’t available to your client before.
  2. Your client may now be eligible for a discount that they didn’t previously qualify for. 

This is another place where going down the list of available discounts and asking about each one could reveal cost savings or get your client thinking about making changes that will enable them to save money in the future. 

Upcoming Life Changes

Start asking about the future with an open-ended question like, “What changes to your lifestyle do you anticipate in the next year?” Depending on the response, it may be helpful to give a few examples, “I’m talking about things like a home remodeling project, a new driver turning 16, a planned retirement, things like that.”

Knowing about those possible life events means you can share information about how they might affect insurance coverage and help you make note of when you should check in with your client again. 

Beneficiary/Name Check-In

A final important category for any annual insurance checkup is to review names and entities that are listed on policies and as beneficiaries. For example, a homeowner may decide one year to create a living revocable trust and retitle their home to be owned by the trust. Did they realize that they should have updated that information with their insurance company when they did the retitling? In many cases, the answer will be no. And what about the person who had a nasty break-up with their partner but never updated the beneficiary on their life insurance? They will certainly appreciate a reminder to update their forms. 

An annual insurance review is your chance as an agent to remind clients of your value. When done right, they will know that they have the right coverages and feel like you care about and want to protect them. Even a client who ends up with no changes to their policies will appreciate that.

Hometown Quotes is pleased to provide insurance agencies with high-quality leads filtered by policy type, geographic location and more. Call us at 800.820.8921 to find out how we can help you achieve your sales goals.

Brendan Sera-Shriar

Brendan Sera-Shriar is the CMO for Hometown Quotes and a Staff Writer for Hometown University.

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