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10 Life Changes to Tell Your Insurance Agent About

June 14, 2016

While most people know about the larger, significant life-changing events to inform their agent about, smaller changes can also impact coverage. If you’ve recently experienced any of these changes, call your insurance agent for a SuperCheck® to make sure you have the coverage you need to have a safe, carefree summer!

What Are Life-Changing Events?

When we hear the phrase “life change,” our minds jump to events like change in marital status, moving and buying a new car. While all of these may require you to update your insurance, there are smaller, more frequent changes that also have an impact. 

Updates to the Backyard

Summer is the perfect time to get started on those home renovations you’ve been planning all winter. But have you thought about the effect outdoor projects can have on your home insurance policy? Home improvement projects can raise the value of your home, make your home safer--or pose liability issues. 

While most home insurance policies cover minor backyard updates, it’s always a good idea to double check with your agent and make sure you’re in the clear. Common summer backyard renovations include:

• Building a shed
• Repairing steps
• Pouring pavement
• Expanding your patio
• Adding exterior electrical
• Putting up a new fence
• Purchasing a big trampoline
• Purchasing an above ground pool
• Building an outdoor dog kennel
• Building a fish pond

Be sure to follow all safety guidelines when making any of these updates to your backyard. By making updates that improve the safety of your home, you may be eligible for new discounts, and a SuperCheck® can help you find which ones you qualify for.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may not fully cover surrounding buildings on your property, so if you’re planning on adding a building, you may need to purchase additional coverage.

Home Additions

Sure, your new addition isn’t “life-changing,” but it is “lifestyle-changing,” and your agent should know about it. If you’re planning to enclose a porch, add a bathroom, upgrade your kitchen, finish your basement or add an addition, you may need to increase your coverage amount on the house. These types of home additions will likely raise the value of your home, and if you do not increase the coverage, you could be vulnerable in the event of a partial or total loss of your home.

Updating Indoor Home Systems

After replacing a home system such as a furnace, air conditioner or water heater, you may want to expand your homeowner’s insurance. Consider including Residential Equipment Insurance, which will protect your home systems should they malfunction. After you’ve made large purchases for your home, a SuperCheck® with your agent can help you re-evaluate your coverage to make sure you’re protected.

Installing a Home Security System

If you’ve been planning to set up a security system at your home, don’t forget to let your insurance agent know. ​You may qualify for a discount on your home insurance. Your insurance company could recognize the fact that you’re increasing the safety of your home and decreasing the likelihood that you will need to file a claim.1

New Teenage Driver

If you have a teen who is getting ready to hit the road for the first time this summer, you’ll need to add the driver to your car insurance policy. In most cases, this can increase the cost of your policy and coverage because teenagers are more likely to cause accidents, due to their inexperience. 

However, some insurance companies offer discounts for good grades and completion of driver education courses. Farm Bureau offers a Young Driver Safety Program, which helps give young, inexperienced drivers the chance to build skill and confidence behind the wheel. Upon completion of the program, your teen driver can qualify for the ​Safe Young Driver discount. Schedule a Supercheck®, and your insurance agent can help make sure you’re taking advantage of all potential discounts.

Child Heading to College

Sending your child off to college is a roller coaster ride, and there’s so much to think about. Remember to consider the insurance implications to make sure your college student is safe and fully protected. Give yourself peace of mind, and talk to your insurance agent about what you’ll need and won’t need for this life-changing event; a SuperCheck® can help you do just that! 

Auto Insurance: Just because your child isn’t home to drive your car most of the time, doesn’t mean you should drop them from your policy. Consider whether your child will need to drive the vehicle over breaks. Also, your auto insurance could protect your child if he or she is in an accident as a passenger in someone else’s car. If your child stays on your policy, you may still be eligible for a discount because your young driver won’t be behind the wheel for most of the year.

Homeowner’s Insurance: Did you know that your homeowner’s insurance can extend to cover your child’s belongings if he or she lives in the college dorms? A SuperCheck with your agent can help you find out if your homeowner’s policy can protect your child’s belongings or if renter’s insurance is the way to go.

Adult Child Moving Back Home

On the other hand, if you have a grown child moving back home for an extended period of time, this could also cause insurance changes. Even if that person has their own vehicle and insurance, they are still likely to drive your vehicle at some point.

Many times, listing your adult child on your policy may not affect your rate. So, don’t hesitate to notify your agent to make sure changes aren’t needed.

Purchasing or Selling Farm Equipment

If you have farm or ranch insurance, you probably have coverage for the equipment you use every day, such as tractors, combines, grain, livestock and more. If you’ve sold or purchased equipment you use in your farm operation, an onsite Supercheck® with your insurance agent can help tailor your coverage to fit your specific needs.

Hiring a Farm or Ranch Employee

Even if you only hire some extra help during the summer and fall seasons, you could be liable if you don’t have the proper insurance coverage. Check with your insurance agent to find out if you need Farm Ranch Employer Liability Coverage to protect yourself and your employee if they are injured on the job.

Starting a Business

If you’re thinking about starting a business this summer, remember that you may need extra coverage to make sure everything has the proper protection. Even if it’s a small, home-based business, you may need additional coverage. 

When Your Life Changes, A SuperCheck® Can Help

It’s important to keep your insurance in mind when any life-changing events happen, big or small. Even if none of these life events are coming your way this summer, it’s still a good idea to check with your agent once a year to make sure you’re protected and getting the discounts you deserve. A SuperCheck is a free yearly service that can help ensure that you don’t have any gaps in your insurance coverage. Get in touch with a Farm Bureau insurance agent today to go over any life changes, and let your mind rest easy!

1Some discounts may not​ apply in all states.