Ask Ed: What Things Can Affect My Insurance Policy?

Ed Conley
We’re breaking down insurance questions with answers from our in-house expert. Ed Conley is a CPIA and the director of Insurance Sales and Financial Services at AAA. Have a question for Ed? Drop us a line at AAA.com/AskEd.

Q: We installed a pool at our house over the summer, do I need to change my insurance?

A: Yes, this is definitely something you’ll want to discuss with your insurance agent. Most insurance companies have specific rules regarding pools and their features like diving boards and slides, as well as fence requirements. The answers to these questions can have a big impact on your eligibility with that company, and your pricing. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you have enough coverage should something damage your pool. Most importantly, you want to review your liability and medical payment coverages. These will ensure you have coverage should someone get hurt on your property. I’d encourage you to talk with your agent about an umbrella policy as well for an additional layer of liability coverage.

Q: We’re using our cars less now that I’m working from home, will that lower my insurance payment?

A: Many insurance companies provided refund checks for reduced usage in the spring that accounted for this change. As the state has opened back up, and more vehicles are back on the road, those refund checks will not continue. However, if you are working from home now instead of commuting to your job, you can change your vehicle from “commute to work” to “pleasure usage” and adjust your annual mileage. Depending on your insurance company, this may help reduce your payment.

Many companies now offer user-based insurance (UBI). These are either mobile apps on your phone, or plug-in devices that monitor driving activity such as hard braking, speed and time of day. This allows the company to base your insurance premium on your specific driving habits. If you’re a safe driver, it could add up to big discounts on your auto insurance. Each carrier utilizes this process differently, so be sure to talk with your agent about the best option for you.

AAA offers insurance coverage for auto, home, life and more. Visit AAA.com/Insurance for more information and to request a free quote.

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