As we enter this new decade, getting fit is a typical new year’s goal. However, in addition to tackling physical fitness, consider your financial fitness. Admittedly, achieving financial fitness can be as daunting as physical fitness since the recession is still dragging on, especially in Detroit. Therefore, it is important to work out your financial health with a trainer. With this in mind, I reached out to Yolanda Durfield, State Farm Agent, located in Royal Oak, Michigan, for advice. I thought I’d tackle insurance since it seemed to be an expense that might be deemed expendable when finances are low. Yolanda advised that insurance is the one thing people of all wealth levels should keep current. For most, the impulse is to eliminate or reduce when budgets are tight. Consumers often forget that the primary use of insurance is to REDUCE RISK!
To begin, Yolanda recommends a review of insurance policies both work related and personal. For example, Yolanda asks whether you understand what your auto coverage provides in the event of a claim? Yolanda also asks are you carrying just the minimum state coverage? Do you have a teenage driver in your household? If so, you should consider adding a personal umbrella liability policy. Its primary focus is to protect against lawsuits. Yolanda cautions that in a tough economy, it’s more likely that someone will sue because everyone’s looking for money. In a good economy, people may look the other way. In a bad one, that person may suddenly say, ‘Here’s the lottery — your child just plowed into me and my neck hurts.’ ”
Another money-saving device is raising the deductible on a homeowner’s policy. This increases the out-of-pocket expense if something minor happens but saves on annual premiums. If you went from $500 to $1,000 deductible, you would expect in three years you would receive that amount of savings in lower premiums.”
A final consideration Yolanda asks you to ponder if you or someone you know is laid off from his job. People typically think first about the lost wages and health insurance; however, group life and disability insurance often ends with the job, and those can be more difficult to replace, particularly for someone who is older or has health problems. In the past, people say, ‘I’m covered at work or through my retirement’, however in this environment, you need to have your own.
Finally, Yolanda suggests that you take some time this month and mid-year (June) to review your insurance portfolio and make sure you and your family are protected and you are reducing your risk. A major claim or lawsuit could devastate your finances.
You can reach Yolanda Durfield at 248) 655-2248 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Yolanda Durfield State Farm Agency is located at 4101 W. Thirteen Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48073.