BOSTON (CBS) – Often times we do the paper shuffle so frequently that we lose some of our important papers. I heard from a listener who keeps her stuff in piles and systematically throws out the stuff on the bottom of the piles.  Not sure that’s a really good or efficient method for filing your stuff, but it works for her!

Because we don’t use our insurance policies until we have a claim we often just file them when they come in. Each year we get a new car insurance policy or healthcare or a home owners policy. And because they don’t often need our immediate attention we set them aside. Somewhere!

And for those of you who keep everything that comes into your home you may have car insurance policies from 1998. So I would suggest it’s time to spring clean the insurance files. Gather up all of the insurance policies you have. Sort by type of insurance first.

For example, homeowners, renters, health, auto, life. Then check to see how many are outdated. You do not need your auto insurance policy from last year unless you had an accident and may still have a claim or are fighting the points. Nor do you need to keep that health insurance policy from the job you left 2 years ago.

If you have insurance through your employer get copies of the policies for your home file. If something should happen to you, your family can easily find the important insurance policies if they are all in one place. If they are stored at work, your family may not have access to them or your work computer.

Once everything is organized take the time to review the policies. What do you really need? Why did you buy the insurance?

Bad things do happen to us and we do need to protect the people we love but there is a need to be practical here as well. Do you need cancer insurance or would a good general health insurance policy suffice?

So if you are buying insurance take the time to compare prices as well as your needs. Insurance companies are becoming competitive in price in some areas. I just got a letter from an insurance company offering me a deal if I combine my auto and home owners insurance.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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