With 2024 right around the corner, now is a good time to review the common insurance mistakes that can catch people off guard when it comes to health, auto, and property coverage.
Both individuals and business owners can easily misjudge costs or make incorrect assumptions that leave them underinsured. When gaps in coverage come to light after an unexpected event, things get stressful and expensive, fast.
This blog will walk you through common insurance mistakes so you can avoid surprises down the road when securing the coverage you need, whether for yourself, your family, or your business for the new year.
Health Insurance Mistakes
When it comes to health insurance, it’s easy to get confused by all the fine print. Countless stories abound of people getting hit with unexpected medical bills because they did not fully understand their coverage.
For example, many go to the doctor thinking a service would be covered, only to receive a large bill later. Or they get charged extra for seeing a doctor outside of their plan’s network – a frustrating and costly surprise.
Taking the time to thoroughly read through your health insurance policy can help avoid these issues. While not glamorous, understanding deductibles, co-pays, coverage limits, and other key details allows you to accurately discern what services are covered and the true out-of-pocket costs.
Additionally, overlooking provider network details can prove very expensive. Using out-of-network doctors or facilities leads to substantially higher prices.
It’s advisable that you research which providers are in-network for your plan and opt for those options for care.
For anything still unclear in the fine print, contacting the health insurance provider directly can help clarify covered services and any questions you may have.
Flood Insurance Mistakes
Louisiana is, unfortunately, a flood-prone area with a long history of damaging floods from hurricanes, tropical storms, and heavy rainfall events.
Many parts of the state are situated on low-lying land near the Gulf of Mexico or along major rivers that are susceptible to overflowing their banks.
However, many homeowners, renters, and business owners in Louisiana unfortunately make the critical mistake of not adding separate flood insurance to their standard homeowners, renters, or business property insurance policy.
Standard insurance policies do not cover flood damage at all.
That means if flood waters inundate a property that only has a basic policy, none of the water or moisture damage will be covered for repairs. Adding flood insurance is the only way for property owners or renters to have financial protection.
Auto Insurance Mistakes
Auto insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers in Louisiana, and having proper coverage is essential for protecting yourself financially in the event of an accident.
One major error drivers make is not having any auto insurance at all. According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute, an estimated 11.7% of Louisiana drivers were uninsured in 2019. Driving without insurance can lead to fines, license suspension, and possibly no payout if you are involved in a crash.
Louisiana has a “No Pay, No Play” law, which states that an uninsured driver who is a victim in an accident is ineligible to collect the first $15,000 in bodily injury compensation and the first $25,000 in property damage compensation from the at-fault party, with a few statutory exceptions.
Another common mistake is carrying inadequate auto insurance coverage. While Louisiana law sets minimum liability coverage levels, purchasing only the bare minimum amount can leave you in a difficult position if you cause extensive vehicle or property damage to others. You may end up paying large sums out-of-pocket without enough insurance.
In addition, many drivers do not reassess their older vehicles to determine if maintaining collision and comprehensive coverage makes financial sense. Dropping these optional coverages on cars worth less than $3,000 or $4,000 can save significant money on premiums.
Home Insurance Mistakes
When it comes to home insurance, it’s easy to make mistakes that leave you vulnerable. A significant one is underestimating the true value of your belongings.
As we head into 2024, reassess the actual cost of replacing your possessions in the event of a catastrophe – it’s likely more than you think. Instead of basing coverage on the sale price of your home, make sure you’re insured for the full cost of rebuilding and refurnishing from scratch. You can also read our previous blog to determine if you are underinsured.
Another common pitfall is failing to thoroughly document your valuables. Do yourself a favor and spend some time cataloging your possessions. Go through each room, take photos, and jot down key details, including serial numbers, model types, purchase dates, and estimated values.
Keep those records and photos somewhere safe. In the event you need to file an insurance claim, having a detailed inventory will make the process much smoother.
Read also: 7 Insurance Resolutions for the New Year
As 2024 approaches, it’s wise for you to avoid these common insurance mistakes that could put you, your family, and your finances at risk.
Reviewing policies thoroughly, knowing what’s covered, and seeking expert help when needed go a long way. Avoiding pitfalls now means you can rest assured knowing your assets are protected down the road.
The TSL Insurance Group team is ready to serve you and answer any questions that you may have regarding your coverage for the new year. We pride ourselves on providing personalized and informative solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs.
With over fifty years of experience in the insurance industry, our Risk Advisors have the expertise to guide you in choosing the right options.
Contact our Baton Rouge insurance agency or any of our other insurance offices nearest you for a free consultation today!