Insurance is something that you shouldn’t put off until later. Failure to have the proper insurance when you need it can cause people to declare bankruptcy. Don’t gamble with these parts of your life that can be insured. Here are some of the main types to consider.
Whether you’re covered through a group plan at work, under your parents’ plan, through COBRA, or through other private or subsidized coverage, make sure that you have proper health insurance. Do not let your coverage lapse (even for a day or more in between jobs). And if you don’t have good health care coverage right now, make this a priority. From a regular checkup to a dental cleaning, these things aren’t cheap. You also need to be financially prepared for the unexpected, which can happen anytime. Medical and hospital bills are for real and can drain your personal funds if you don’t have adequate coverage. Protect your physical and mental health as well as your financial health with proper health care coverage.
Even though the new tax overhaul has repealed the individual mandate to buy health insurance effective in 2019 (so that there will no longer be a penalty for not getting health insurance after 2018), make it a priority to get health insurance for yourself and your family every year. This is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself, your health, and the health of your family.
Check out the official government website operated under the Affordable Care Act.
Property insurance includes both renter’s insurance as well as homeowner’s insurance.
The monthly price for a renter’s policy is about that of a Manhattan martini (or two). Policies differ, but they can cover things like:
- damage to your personal property (your stuff) due to theft, vandalism, fire, smoke, or water damage;
- liability for injury to others while in your apartment (your painter falls off a ladder in your kitchen); and
- cost of temporary housing if covered damage makes your living space uninhabitable.
Some policies may also cover things like items in your storage unit, that cracked screen on your phone, etc. Check the fine print, but if the company offers additional coverage for electronics and other similar items, that may pay off in the end. Insurance is your friend. Also, check reviews on the insurance company: some are much more understanding and responsive than others.
Renter’s insurance is taken out by the tenant and covers the tenant’s personal property, etc. Homeowner’s insurance (as the name implies) is taken out by the owner of the home and covers not only damage to the owner’s personal property but also structural damage to the home itself. As such, homeowner’s insurance is typically more expensive than renter’s insurance but is just as important to have.
If something were to happen to you that prevents you from going to work, disability insurance would cover a portion of your salary (can be up to 60%, but check your policy—if you have one—for coverage amounts, time periods covered, and other terms of coverage). Disability insurance falls under the “you never know” category and is important to have, separate and apart from any health insurance coverage. Although only a portion of your salary would be replaced, disability insurance may help you sleep at night, knowing that a portion of your expenses would be taken care of if you were not able to go to work. If you are self-employed or your employer doesn’t offer adequate disability insurance, you should consider private coverage, although it will typically be more expensive than employer-sponsored coverage.
If you have a partner, spouse, children, or others who depend on you financially, life insurance is absolutely vital and necessary. If you have life insurance coverage through your employer, don’t assume that the coverage is high enough to meet the needs of your dependents. Take a good, hard look at your short- and long-term expenses to come up with a reasonable estimate of how much your family would need. Chances are, you will have to supplement any life insurance coverage through your employer with your own private insurance to adequately protect your family and other dependents.
Term life insurance covers you for a specific time period (usually 10, 20, or 30 years) and is less expensive than whole life coverage. Whole life insurance covers you for life and includes an accumulated cash value that grows at a set rate but is more expensive than term life insurance.
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