Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Insurance records take up a lot of space. And we hardly ever use them. But, we know it is essential to keep your insurance records on hand. Sometimes we need to present these records with very little notice to a police officer or to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
We all know that insurance is a crucial part of life. If you do not, then I must ask, what rock have you been under? Everything that you see in your everyday life, including your loved ones need to be protected. Since insurance records are essential pieces of paperwork, we all need a reliable system for keeping it all organized. Not now, but soon, you will be able to store your documents on the Linqrs mobile app to be shared when it needs to be shared.
For now, original policies should be stored in a safety deposit box or fire safe. Keep copies in a place that is easily accessible for quick reference. The originals command a higher level of protection. Just be sure to let anyone that would need access to these policies know how to locate them. Feel free to clean out monthly/quarterly/annual paid bills at the end of each year.
Unfortunately, we have a stack of paperwork from our insurance company every dang-on time we have a doctor visit.
Explanation of benefits
Supplement insurance programs
However, there are only four reasons to keep health insurance records for more than a tax year. They are:
middle of filing a claim
the dispute over a bill
you take a medical tax deduction
proving that you met your deductible for the year
What to do
Set up one folder and label it “current claims” for anything that is still in process. As more documents arrive, anything related to the same subject or situation, store them in this file until you have received your final bill from all parties.
Being able to review everything at once reduces mistakes and miscalculations. Once you are satisfied with the final result, pay the bill and file the documents in your permanent “completed claims” folder.
Still, have questions or concerns?
Move the materials to your “claims to dispute” file. Compartmentalizing your paperwork according to the stage of the process engenders less confusion about what is paid and unpaid.
This is very important
Sometimes we garner enough out of pocket medical expenses to warrant a tax deduction. When this happens, you will need to produce your claim records and medical bill with supporting tax documents for that year. Keep these files for 6 years in case you are audited by the IRS.
Many of us have so many life insurance policies that it is hard to keep up with all of them. For example, we might have a work life insurance policy, a private term, an annuity and even an accidental death or dismemberment plan that come with your credit card or bank account. Instead of trying to separate them all, place them all in one “life insurance” file and store it in your safe deposit box or fire safe. Place the annual premium payment notice in your “paid bills” file.
I am not going to tell you how to run your insurance life, but I will give you a suggestion. It is better to consolidate all your property insurance policies under one provider. Having your car, home, and umbrella insurance with several different companies, only breathes confusion and creates a time-consuming process. Plus, if you consolidate your policies, frequently better rates occur and less paperwork. Be sure to keep all original paperwork, the current year’s amendments, and any claim information in your safe deposit.
CEO and Co-Founder of linqrs mobile app, The Most Clever Way to Shop for Insurance. Former Insurance Agency Owner, College and NFL football coach.