Accidents and disasters can and do happen. If you aren’t flush with cash to handle them, you could face huge financial struggles and setbacks. Insurance is one way to protect your life, your health, your ability to earn an income, and to keep a roof over your head when things go wrong.
There are a number of different types of insurance available, and it's unlikely you'd need (or even want) them all. But if you have loved ones or assets worth protecting, you probably need at least a few different types of coverage. Learn about common types of insurance, which you might need, and how much to have.
You can insure almost any part of your life. But not every type of coverage is right for every person. In most cases, you will want to cover your life, your health, and your property. This means you should have:
- Health insurance to cover medical costs for you, as well as your spouse or children if you have them
- Life insurance to provide for your family or cover your debts after your death
- Homeowner's or renter's insurance to cover your home and valuable property
- Auto insurance to protect your car
When picking a plan, think about how much it needs to cover. You also need to know what premium you can afford per month.
Choosing a deductible is another factor in picking a plan. A larger one means your monthly premiums will be lower. But it also means it will take longer for your insurance to kick in and start taking care of costs.
You want to ensure that you and your family are covered. But for most people, there are many types of insurance you don't need.
Purchasing the wrong insurance or spending too much on a plan can do more harm than good.
Types of insurance you may not need might be:
- Mortgage life (can be called credit life)
- Cancer or a specific disease
- Travel or flight
In the case of travel and flight insurance, for instance, these may be included as part of your credit card's travel perks. If you aren't at high risk for cancer or another disease, you likely don't need that type of coverage.
Before buying plans like these, think about what you need, what you have through other places like a credit card or job, and whether they are worth the cost.
How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
How much coverage you need is a big question. Some people don't need any life insurance. Others need it to provide a million dollars or more in the event of their death.
For most people, the more assets you have, the less life insurance you need. But the higher your income, the more your family will need to replace if you die.
You may only need enough coverage to pay for medical and funeral costs. Or, you may want to have a big enough payout to pay off your mortgage, put your kids through college, and cover living costs for your family for a few years.
You may also have debts, like student loans or a credit card balance, that will need to be paid after you die. Life insurance can cover these as well. Before you buy a plan, think about what you need life insurance to do for you and your loved ones.
Once you've picked how much life insurance you need, you need to choose what type of life insurance is best.
Many people choose a term life policy. This covers you for a set term, such as 10, 15, or 30 years. These plans tend to have the lowest premiums of any life insurance option.
You may prefer permanent coverage in the form of whole life, universal life, or variable life coverage. These plans often have higher monthly payments. They also offer lifetime coverage, along with the chance to build cash value.
It's important to weigh the pros and cons of both. Think about what you need your plan to do, as well as what you can afford each month, before you choose.
Finding a Good Auto Insurance Policy
If you own a vehicle, you need to have it insured. Car insurance can protect you if you get into an accident. It also covers you if your car is stolen or damaged from vandalism or a natural disaster.
Auto insurance is very competitive. There are a lot of options available to you.
Finding the right mix of enough coverage at a good price can be challenging. If you own other insurance plans, you may be able to get lower monthly costs by bundling. This means you buy more than one insurance plan through the same company and end up with a discount on each of them.
For many people, their home is one of their biggest assets. It makes sense, then, that it will need a lot of coverage.
There are different types of coverage you may need. Traditional homeowner's insurance is at the top of the list. But, you may also need extra coverage if you live in an area that's prone to certain natural disasters. These might include floods, wildfires, or earthquakes.
Insuring something expensive, such as a house, comes at a price. But there are many ways that you can save money on your homeowners' insurance.
Bundling life and car insurance will often save you money. So will being a loyal customer over several years. You can also install safety features, such as a security system, to get more discounts.