For many Canadians, insurance is an out of sight, out of mind affair.
And to some extent it’s true.
After all, as long as nothing’s on fire and no one has died, it’s easy to assume that everything’s been taken care of. But when disaster strikes and you’re trying to cash out on a policy that doesn’t even come close to paying out what you need, that’s when the importance of insurance coverage really comes through.
You may not know when an emergency might happen, but you can recognize when it’s time to update your insurance. Here are four normal life milestones where it may make sense to consider tuning up your insurance.
1. You’re Having a Baby
When you’re shopping for strollers and onesies, it may seem a little odd to also be considering the insurance implications of having a baby. But once there’s a child in the picture, expecting parents may have to contemplate some rather sobering possibilities.
According to the Government of Canada, insurance and estate planning for parents may need to consider scenarios like:
- What would happen if you or your partner died?
- What if you were to become disabled?
- How would you provide for your child in the event of a temporary disability?
This isn’t exactly what anyone wants to think about when you’re expecting a little bundle of joy. But insurance planning is nonetheless worth exploring before the baby arrives.
2. You’ve Started Working For Yourself
Working for yourself and starting your own business comes with a lot of benefits: unlimited income, the ability to set your own hours, no workplace politicking, and the freedom to vacation as much as you want. According to Statistics Canada, from 1976 to 2018, the number of self-employed Canadians doubled. But for everything you gain as a veritable business owner, you’re also on your own when it comes to your insurance.
From providing dental plans to arranging everything for your Employment Insurance, traditional employers do a lot to provide quality insurance coverage to employees.
So if you’re making the leap into self-employment, it can’t hurt to make your personal insurance options a part of your business plan.
3. Your Stuff Has Become More Valuable
Being under-insured often isn’t the result of having no insurance. It’s typically an issue of just not having insurance that accurately reflects the value of your property. Maybe you started with an old couch and after getting a new job, you upgraded and bought a more expensive one. Or perhaps you had an old TV that you replaced with a flat-screen HD model.
If you haven’t updated your insurance recently and a fire or a flood were to damage your property, you may struggle to get back fair value for your belongings.
So if it’s been a few years since you last took out your insurance and you’ve made a few major purchases in the meantime, you may want to take some time to update your policy accordingly.
If you were to ask people to name something that’s missing from their lives, chances are none of them would say, “Insurance.” But insurance really can be the difference between walking away from an unexpected disaster with money in your pocket or starting your life over with nothing. To that end, personal and professional milestones are golden opportunities to reassess your insurance needs. While you may not know when you’ll need to cash in a policy, you can always be prepared.