Time It Right
There may be certain times of the year when it's easier for you to deal with renewing your insurance policies. If your policies are expiring at an inopportune time-say, during your off season, when you have less available income to pay your premium-it's possible to change your renewal date.
One alternative involves early termination and renewal of the policy to get you on the schedule you prefer. Or you might renew with a one-time, short-term policy and then return to an annual coverage period.
"There is no penalty for doing this. It's simply a matter of talking with the agent or insurer as [far] in advance as possible," says Alejandra Soto with the Insurance Information Institute in New York City. But, she warns, "Be careful, and make sure there isn't a lapse in coverage when the renewal date is moved."
Another issue to consider is rate increases. Your rates are fixed for the term of the policy, but if you terminate early and renew, the new policy may reflect a rate increase that would not have affected you until the original policy expired.
Getting your renewal dates where they work best for you may take research and juggling for a year or so, but the results will be increased internal efficiency, improved cash flow, more accurate planning and forecasting, easier bookkeeping, and the peace of mind of knowing you have the best coverage for your circumstances.
Jacquelyn Lynn is a freelance business writer in Orlando, Florida.