Insurance Resources and Advice

    Insurance is sometimes a legal requirement and often a good idea. Understand the different types of insurance, read company reviews, get help with claims, and learn how to save money on health, life, home, auto, and other types of coverage.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What does insurance mean?

      The premise of insurance is to transfer risk from one or more people, a business, or an entity to a group of insureds that pay premiums into a pool; it’s from this pool of premiums that losses from covered perils are paid. An insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and at least one individual in which the insurer agrees to pay specified damages in exchange for a premium.

    • What are the benefits of insurance?

      Insurance can provide peace of mind when you don’t need it, and can be a financial life raft when you do. Health insurance, for example, covers costly possibly unaffordable, medical bills if you become ill or injured; auto insurance can pay to replace your totaled car; and life insurance can enable your family to survive without your income.

    • What are the 4 types of insurance you need?

      Auto, homeowners or renters insurance, health, and life insurance are some of the most important types of coverage. If you drive, you need auto insurance; if you rent or own, you’ll need renters or homeowners insurance. Health insurance protects you from having to pay for unaffordable medical procedures if you get hurt or sick. And life insurance is crucial if you have children or others who depend on you.

    • How do insurance companies make money?

      Insurance companies profit from premiums and also invest heavily in a range of financial securities, primarily consisting of bonds. Some state regulators evaluate investment returns to determine if insurance companies are charging consumers rates that are too high or low.

    • What are the 5 parts of an insurance policy?

      The five main parts of your policy are:

      • Declarations page: Lists your policy’s key details
      • Insuring agreements: What your insurer promises to do/not do and who/what is covered
      • Exclusions/limitations: What’s excluded from coverage and maximum claim payouts
      • Conditions: Requirements you must meet for coverage and claim payouts
      • Definitions: Defines common words with special meanings
    • What are the types of life insurance?

      The two main types are term and permanent. Term life insurance is valid for a set period of time, usually one to 30 years, and pays a death benefit only if you die within that time frame. Permanent life insurance is designed to last throughout your life and pays a death benefit as long as you have an active policy. Both term and permanent policies have additional types available as well.

    • What is an insurance quote?

      An insurance quote estimates the premium you'd pay for insurance coverage based on information you provide. A quote usually details policy specifics such as deductibles, coverage limits, riders, and the types of coverage offered. A quote is not an offer of insurance and your final premium may differ, depending on the additional information you provide on the application.

    Key Terms

    Person walking and holding the hands of two children outside
    How To Find Out If You’re Eligible for Medicaid
    Woman making a phone call while trying to stop a leaking kitchen sink pipe
    What Is an Ex Gratia Payment?
    A woman is sitting on a couch reading a document.
    What Is an Insurance Endorsement?
    Couple signing paperwork with an insurance agent
    What Is an Insurance Actuary?
    Young family of five walking through meadow in Autumn
    What Is Insurable Interest?
    Drivers inspect damage after a car crash
    What Is an A-Rated Insurance Company?
    A resident lounges on a condo balcony
    What Is HO-6 Insurance?
    Friends eating healthy at home
    What Is Casualty Insurance?
    Blurred shot of emergency medical technicians wheeling a gurney with a patient on it away from ambulance
    What You Need To Know About Medicare Coverage for Ambulance Rides
    An individual drives their new car.
    How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?
    Builder eating packed lunch looks at documents on construction site
    What Is an Accidental Death Benefit?
    Insurance agent going over paperwork with a couple
    What Is an Insurance Carrier?
    A large tree limb has fallen through the roof of a formerly neat and tidy home.
    What Is Recoverable Depreciation?
    A construction worker uses an automatic hammer on a concrete and brick wall
    What Is Dwelling Coverage?
    Couple reviewing paperwork together
    What Is an Insurance Declaration Page?
    Insurance agent meeting with clients in their home
    What Is Property Insurance?
    couple providing documents for new home with agent
    Understanding Your Insurance Binder and What it Means
    A medical professional wearing scrubs uses a touch screen tablet
    What Is a Medical Loss Ratio?
    Doctor with digital tablet talks to patient in exam room
    What Is Open Enrollment?
    A woman sits in a dentist’s chair, smiling.
    What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
    Large fallen tree on top of roof it cracked in storm.
    What Is Indemnification?
    A renter moves into an apartment
    Is Renters Insurance Required?
    A smashed and overturned SUV lies on the lawn in front of a wind-damaged home.
    What Is Property and Casualty Insurance?
    A family of four plays football in front of a home.
    A Guide to Homeowners Insurance Deductibles
    Focus on your commute
    How to Be More Mindful About Driving
    Drive on the open road
    Going the Extra Mile
    Camping at sunset
    Does Your Insurance Reflect Your Lifestyle?
    man checking boxes with marker on paper
    Standard & Poor's Insurance Ratings
    Types of Insurance Policies You May Need in Your Lifetime: health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, homeowners and renters insurance, and auto insurance
    Types of Insurance Everyone Should Have
    Senior couple using laptop with paperwork at home
    Can You Have Medicaid and Private Insurance?
    This illustration shows when someone might be covered by two health plans including adult children who are under age 26 and may have coverage through their parents and their employer or school, married couples or domestic partners who each have access to a health insurance plan through their employer, and children who have two parents that each have access to a health insurance plan.
    Coordination of Benefits: Should You Have 2 Health Insurance Plans?
    Businessmen shaking hands
    What Is a Comdex Ranking?
    Nurse and older woman walk arm-in-arm in the sun
    Do I Have To Sign Up for Medicare If I Have Private Insurance?
    Woman sitting on couch reviewing her insurance policy and grace period
    What Is an Insurance Grace Period?
    An employee carries a box of belongings out of an office.
    How Does Unemployment Insurance Work?
    A driver accepts keys from someone standing outside the car.
    How Much Liability Insurance Do I Need?
    Couple moves boxes into neon green storage unit
    Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?
    Doctor consulting patient in hospital
    Can You Talk Your Way Into a Smaller Medical Bill?
    Middle-aged woman checking prices on phone in car
    Is Financing Your Car Going to Change Your Car Insurance?
     A nurse helps an older woman from a chair.
    Are Lift Chairs Covered by Medicare?
     Businessman with his pet dog working on a computer
    How Do I File for Disability?
    Young family discussing their insurance policy with their agent at the kitchen table
    Why Do I Need Insurance?
    a ransacked house with a robber climbing out a window
    Renter's Insurance Can Protect You From Fire and Theft
    Woman on laptop
    What Is an Experience Letter for Insurance?
    Traveler waiting for a train on platform
    How Much Travel Insurance Do I Need?
    Happy multi-ethnic businesspeople discussing in office
    What Is Reinsurance?
    Worried young woman with broken leg in cast sitting on sofa at home and talking on smart phone
    Is Disability Insurance Worth It?
    Woman adding change in a jar after canceling her renters insurance
    Should You Cancel Your Renter's Insurance to Save Money?
    A woman is standing in front of a minor accident. She's talking on her phone.
    Do You Have the Right Car Insurance Coverage?
    A man in the driver’s seat of a convertible puts his seatbelt on
    What an Insurance Lapse Is and What It Means for You
    A man in formal attire puts a necklace with a heart-shaped pendant around a woman’s neck.
    What Is Scheduled Personal Property?
    Family sitting on couch in flooded living room looking concerned
    Is It Ever a Good Idea to Self-Insure?
    Couple looking at home insurance options to save money
    How Insurance Works
    Lawyer and client
    The 5 Best Malpractice Insurance Companies of 2021
    Senior man having coffee with friends
    4 Alternatives to Buying Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance
     Couple discussing insurance with broker
    General Liability vs. Professional Liability Insurance
    Model house damaged by fallen tree, close-up
    What Is Negligence in Insurance?
    A couple embraces in front of their home.
    What Is Non-Admitted Insurance?
    Studio shot of pencil erasing the word bankruptcy from piece of paper.
    What Happens If Your Insurance Company Files Bankruptcy?
    Young couple reviewing renters insurance options
    How Does Renters Insurance Work and What's in It for You?