Unless you’ve lived in a bubble, you should know that the world is a dangerous place. Of course, no one likes to think about it that way or to start their day making a list with all the possible things that can go wrong and checking it twice. But a little precaution never hurt anyone. On the contrary, it can make all the difference when you’re faced with an unpleasant situation.
The smartest thing you can do to protect yourself against a tragedy is to learn about insurance and how it can help you. It’s definitely not a magic wand that can fix everything and make you feel like nothing ever happened, but it can help you recover and get on with your life in the event of a major disaster.
Nowadays you can insure almost everything. You’ve probably heard about celebrities who insured certain parts of their bodies for millions of dollars. You’re free to do as you wish, but insuring your hair or a finger – yes, it happened, you can google it! – won’t do you much good. So it’s best to focus on insurance policies that can actually help you and are worth paying for. These are the types of insurance that every responsible adult should consider:
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about insurance is obviously protecting your health. Buying health insurance is definitely the most important investment you can make. Think about it this way: it’s not about saving money, it’s about saving your life. If you have the misfortune of having a medical issue – be it because of an illness or an accident – health insurance will help you cover your medical expenses.
The good news is that most employers offer employees health insurance. However, if you don’t have health insurance from your employer, you’ll have to research the market and buy one yourself after comparing different options. You can choose to purchase your health insurance from a company or from a health insurance agent and a good idea is to look for an insurance policy that suits your care needs.
Should you face a medical problem, you won’t have to pay for your doctor, hospital, and medication by yourself, so a health insurance policy also takes care of your peace of mind.
If you pass away, life insurance will pay out money to a beneficiary that you choose. The payment, called a death benefit, can go to a person, company or trust.
Usually, people who are married or have children are interested in this type of insurance because there are people who rely on their income. However, there’s nothing stopping single people from getting life insurance. In fact, it’s advisable to have life insurance even as a single person if:
- You have debts
- Someone other than your family relies on you financially
- Have a business partner
- Want to have children in the future
- Consider not staying single forever
- You want to make sure your burial expenses will be covered
For those who have a family, life insurance is obviously extremely important. The death benefit can help replace the income of one of the spouses, pay for children’s care and education, pay for the care of disabled or aging family members or pay for lingering debts.
Some employers also offer basic life insurance and, in some situations, you can add to the cover at an inexpensive rate. If you don’t have this option, you can buy it from an insurance company as it’s the case with all insurances.
How much you’ll have to pay for life insurance depends on various factors such as the sum of the death benefit, your age, your health and any other aspects that can increase risk. You’ll also have to choose between temporary life insurance – it can cover you for a certain period – and permanent life insurance.
In most cases, homeowner insurance is mandatory. If you get a mortgage to pay for your house, your lender will require you to insure the property. Even if you don’t need a loan to buy the house, it’s still important to get home insurance. Buying a house is probably the most important investment you’ll ever make, so you have to make sure it’s protected.
However, home insurance doesn’t cover all types of losses. Damages caused by floods and earthquakes are not usually included in the policy, so you’ll have to purchase them separately. For example, people purchase flood insurance in Florida as it’s an area prone to floods and it’s an essential measure of precaution.
If you rent a house, you should consider renters insurance. Even if you don’t own the house, you have precious belongings inside that you’ll want to keep safe. Home insurance doesn’t cover just objects, it also covers the people living in the house. So if someone gets injured in your house, a homeowner or renters insurance will protect you against personal liability.
Car insurance is required by law and most people already know how it works. Basic car insurance covers liability in the event of an accident. If you got a loan to buy your car, you might also have to purchase collision coverage. If you are involved in a car accident, the damage to your car is covered by collision coverage and the damage to the other car is covered by liability insurance.
Just like houses, cars represent an important financial investment, so you must make sure that if anything happens to your car, you’ll be able to fix it or get another one. Clearly, insurance doesn’t just cover cars. It also covers another person’s injuries or death in an accident that you are responsible for and it can also cover legal expenses.
Although these four types of insurance are usually seen as must-haves, there are many more you can purchase, depending on your specific needs. You should assess all the potential risks in your life because it’s better to expect the unexpected than to be unprepared.