When the time comes for you to plan for your insurance, it can be overwhelming. Insurance plans come in a variety of packages, so you’ll need to compare what coverage option is best for you. In this article, we’re breaking down the 5 mistakes people make with insurance planning, so you can be prepared throughout the process.
5 Mistakes People Make with Insurance Planning
In order to prevent errors from occurring when planning your insurance, you’re going to want to work with a qualified agent. You’ll also want to consider your health history, as well as attending annual reviews. Below we break down mistakes that you can avoid, that can help save you money.
- 1. Working with a Captive Agent:
A Captive Agent prevents you from seeing the whole marketplace, as they will only show you what their company manufactures. This is similar to working with Johnson & Johnson for all products vs. working with a rep that handles 20 brands. Working with an Independent Agent allows for you to see all products available to you for your specific planning needs. A team that is independent should listen to your goals and show you all of the choices available. This will give you the knowledge you need to make the best decisions. They can then guide you through the steps to efficiently secure your policy. You can always ask the agent if their firm is independent.
- 2. Skipping Your Annual Review:
Rate locking your plan at your current age is typically best, so that the rates never change as you age. However, if you have had a job change for example, there could be discounts available to you now that could reduce costs on your disability insurance plan. It doesn’t hurt to ask to see if you are now eligible. You can also check to see if your health system, employer and/or group have new discounts available based upon new affiliations. Your annual review with your agent helps you report material changes regarding work, state residency, health, etc. that could save you money.
- 3. Not Considering Your Health:
Overall health history affects policy costs, and there are different price points between insurance carriers as their underwriters look at risk differently. Not disclosing your health history up front with your agent could cost you in the long run, as they can help select the right carrier for you, based upon what is offered in the marketplace. In other words, any material changes to your health (good or bad) dictates a need for a discussion. Any health improvements or changes should be discussed at application, or during your annual review, to help you select the best policy designs.
- 4. Paying Too Much:
Working with a team that can show you ways to structure your plan, while including discounts, is always recommended. Each individual requires a different policy design, so it is important to learn what features are available, to protect your specialty and/or household’s needs. Only purchase the additional features that you find important for your family; otherwise, you may be spending more on optional riders and features vs. saving money. Riders have costs associated, so keep only what you need so you can put the rest towards your savings and/or debt payments instead. Pick the policy design that is best for you, that fits your specialty’s income changes.
- 5. Being a Transaction:
Working with a team that keeps in touch and provides ongoing service and annual reviews, can take the pressure off you handling the policy requirements yourself. For example: Some disability policies have steps to take care of on certain contract anniversaries. A team that follows up with you, can help you manage your policy so that you don’t have to keep track of requirements yourself. This is especially important if you plan to make job changes and/or move in the future. Just like patients have options to choose their healthcare providers, you have a choice to choose the agent managing your policy.
So, these are the 5 mistakes people make with insurance planning. Talking with your agent about you and your family’s health history can help you find the right insurance plan to cover your needs. If you would like to know more about insurance and/or would like a policy review, our team here at Crisp Physician Solutions can answer any questions you may have.