The world of insurance is full of options, and it can be a bit intimidating trying to navigate through everything.
Some things are obvious – you’re legally required to have health insurance and auto insurance – but there’s so many other aspects of your life where you can and should be covered.
What kinds of insurance do you actually need, though?
There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question.
Your life is totally unique, and depending on your goals, circumstances, lifestyle, and budget, your insurance needs will differ from those of your friends and coworkers.
We’re here to help you figure out what kinds of coverage are right for you.
Must-Have Insurance Types
If you own a vehicle, you have to insure it.
Car insurance comes with a lot of variables, and the level of coverage you need will vary based on whether you own, lease, or finance your car, how much it’s worth, what you use it for, and how many people drive it.
When you shop for auto insurance, your agent will help you figure out the best balance between budget and coverage level.
Health and Disability Insurance
Your health insurance is the kind that pays for your medical bills when you get sick.
You might have coverage through your or your spouse’s employer, through the government marketplace, or from a private company.
Plans vary greatly in coverage levels, deductibles, and features – for example, some plans cover the cost of prescription medications and voluntary procedures, but others do not.
Disability insurance is also usually offered through your employer.
It supplements your income when you’re too sick or infirm to work, either for a short or a long period of time.
Even if you’re not legally required to get lots of coverage, it’s very important for you to have good health and disability coverage, since your health isn’t something you should be messing around with.
Even if you’re young and healthy, life insurance is important.
Other people depend on you.
Your spouse, your children, and your aging parents are likely to be financially devastated if anything happens to you.
They’ll have to deal with expenses, loss of income, and their grief all at the same time – unless you have life insurance.
Purchasing life insurance while you’re young saves you money, and the policy itself builds value beyond the level of protection.
For more on the financial benefit of life insurance, talk to an agent.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
Odds are, you already know that you need insurance as a homeowner.
Renters insurance, unfortunately, is often overlooked, but it’s a necessary insurance for any renter.
As a renter, your landlord’s homeowners insurance will only cover their property damage in the event of burglary, disaster, or mishap, and it won’t cover your property or financial losses.
Check with your insurance agent to talk about adding renter insurance to one of your existing policies, since you can often get coverage at a deep discount for bundling with something like your auto insurance.
Types of Insurance To Seriously Consider
Since the following coverage types only apply under certain circumstances, you may or may not need to investigate further.
Peruse this list, and if you meet the criteria, you should consider adding more coverage.
Pet insurance is like your health insurance, but it covers your animals.
Vet bills can get expensive quickly, even for an animal that isn’t costly to keep.
Your pet insurance helps cover procedures, medications, and routine trips to the vet, so you can care for your furbabies like they’re part of the family.
Never end up in a situation where you’re faced with the decision to put your baby down to end his or her pain because you can’t pay for the veterinary care they need.
Whole Life Insurance
Similar to regular life insurance, whole life insurance helps your loved ones and dependents cover costs in the event that it’s needed.
However, there’s a key difference:
Whole life insurance pays throughout your life, and it can be used to cover certain expenses.
It’s not right for everyone, so discuss your options with your agent.
This is the insurance that covers expenses not normally paid by your existing health and disability insurances.
Unlike regular health insurance plans, you can use your supplemental insurance to buy groceries, pay your mortgage, or cover bills while you’re out of work for an injury or illness.
Health and disability insurance may or may not cover these expenses already, though, so look at your current coverage before planning on supplementing.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) Insurance
GAP insurance generally applies only when you purchase a new car.
It covers the gap between the amount you owe on your car and the actual value should you sell (or total) your car before you’ve paid the balance down to the value.
For people who drive a used vehicles or make down payments large enough to offset the value decrease that happens immediately after buying a new car, GAP insurance isn’t necessary.
When you get your regular auto insurance, ask about GAP if you think it might apply.
Traveling abroad is an incredible experience, but getting sick or being injured in a foreign country is not.
Travel insurance covers you in the event of lost or stolen luggage, missed flights, expenses involved with travel plan changes, and any medical expenses you incur that aren’t covered by your regular health insurance.
Most health insurance policies do not cover illness and injury when you’re overseas, but some do.
You may be able to get similar coverage from your regular health policy, and travel expenses like lost luggage are sometimes covered by credit card perks, travel agents, and booking companies.
Industry Specific Insurances
For small business owners or vendors, it’s wise to look into insurance policies specifically for your job or industry.
Regular liability insurance doesn’t necessarily cover everything you need, so consider the following additional types of coverage:
- Liquor liability
- Worker’s Compensation
This isn’t even a comprehensive list!
Don’t let all of this information overwhelm you. Insurance agents are here to expertly help you navigate the insurance world.