Most people are familiar with some of the different insurance policy types. Are you a car owner? Then you know you need to carry coverage to be on the road. Ever borrow money to buy a home? Your lender likely required you to get homeowner's insurance to protect this big purchase.
While these may seem like enough, the truth is there are other types of insurance that you should consider to adequately protect yourself and your future income. We'll go over nine of them, but first, let's talk about why insurance is so important.
Why is it important to have insurance coverage?
Think of insurance as protection for your wallet. Having the right types of insurance can potentially save you a ton of money in the event of an emergency, unplanned life occurrence, or a medical need. Car insurance can pay for the costs of a car wreck, like repairs and medical bills. A homeowner's policy can help you rebuild your home after a devastating fire. Health insurance can pay for expensive emergency room bills after an injury or illness.
In exchange for paying money (premiums) to an insurance company, you get coverage. It means you can protect yourself without having to impact your long term financial plans. Not having enough insurance policy types can derail your financial goals, and you definitely don't want that.
Before you start signing up for any additional insurance coverage and adding new premium payments to your budget, you need to make sure that the insurance policy types make sense for your life situation. You also want to make sure that the additional monthly costs are justifiable. You don't want to be making monthly payments for insurance coverage if you don't necessarily need it.
Check out these nine types of insurance you may need — and that you might not have considered otherwise.
1. Life insurance
Life insurance is something to consider if you have other people who depend on your income, such as a spouse or children. This policy is vital if you have large financial commitments such as a mortgage, child education expenses, or any major debt. Sometimes you even need a policy if you're getting a small business loan.
The purpose of life insurance to provide a lump sum (and usually tax-free) payment to your dependents in the event of your death. How much life insurance you buy is a personal decision. Generally speaking, it depends on the number of years of income you want to cover for your household after you've passed away.
The two most popular insurance products you'll come across are term life insurance and whole life insurance:
Term life insurance
Term life insurance, as the name indicates, only covers you for a specific term or a number of years (e.g., 10, 20, or 30 years). As long as you pay your premiums and keep your policy active, your beneficiaries should get a lump sum in the event of your death. If you outlive your policy term, the coverage expires, and you can either renew (if offered) or apply for a new policy. The premiums can be affordable, but they get more expensive as you get older.
Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance coverage lasts your entire lifetime as long as you keep up with your premium payments. It may also offer benefits like a form of savings or investment account associated with it. Over time you may get money credited to you. While this type of life insurance sounds attractive, it is also substantially more expensive.
Regardless of what type of life insurance you choose, you want to make sure you fully understand what is associated with each, how much coverage the premium provides, and if there are any conditions or requirements.
2. Long-Term Disability Insurance
This insurance covers you by replacing your income if you're unable to work due to a permanent or temporary disability. Regardless of whether you have dependents or not, if you have monthly living expenses, then it's a good idea to consider getting disability insurance.
What about short-term disability insurance? Well, if you have a fully-funded emergency fund, then it could cover you if you can't work for a little while but it may not be enough. Adding on short-term disability might not be a bad idea depending on the cost — especially if your employer offers it at a low cost or free. It can help you keep your emergency savings intact in exchange for the monthly premium you pay for coverage.
3. Renters Insurance
If you're renting, you're not responsible for the building itself or major repairs. That's your landlord's responsibility. That being said, you definitely want to consider getting renters insurance to cover your valuables within your home.
Renters insurance protects you if your belongings get damaged by flooding, fire, or in the event that your home is broken into. This is also why it's a good idea to keep an inventory of your stuff — like your expensive electronics or musical instruments — to know how much protection you actually need so you're not overpaying.
Your electronics and other valuables are the things that your renters' insurance would cover. Renters insurance also covers items stolen from your vehicle, even if it's parked away from home.
4. Personal Article Insurance
Do you have an expensive engagement ring or wedding ring set? An expensive watch? A laptop you take with you everywhere? The costs of replacing items like this can be really expensive. If you have any personal items that are of value and you often have them outside of your home, you should definitely consider insuring them through a personal articles policy.
You may even be able to add a floater to an existing policy to cover valuables like jewelry (ask your renters or homeowners insurance company). This will ensure that you can replace them without having to incur any major financial setbacks in the event they get lost or stolen.
5. Pet Insurance
60% of Americans have a pet of some kind, and many times people don't consider the associated medical costs with bringing home a pet. Pet parents should expect at least one $2,000 to $4,000 emergency vet bill during their pet's lifetime, according to the ASPCA. Pet insurance can save you a lot of money if your pet needs major surgery or has expensive medical care, so it is definitely something to consider. Talk to your vet to see which policies are accepted at their office before buying any coverage.
6. Homeowners insurance
Financial institutions require you to have homeowners insurance. However, you absolutely should have homeowners insurance even if you own your home outright. Homeowners insurance protects you if your home is damaged or destroyed.
This policy includes dwelling insurance, which covers the amount it would take to rebuild your home. Homeowners insurance can cover your personal belongings and include liability insurance if someone were accidentally injured on your property.
Review your policy thoroughly to ensure you have the correct types of insurance in place. For example, flood insurance is excluded from most homeowners insurance policies. Invest in a flood insurance policy to prevent major expenses in the event of a flood. Other types of insurance, such as earthquake coverage may not be included either. You should speak with your agent to ensure you are properly protected. And be sure to explore ideas to potentially lower your homeowner's insurance cost without sacrificing coverage.
7. Identify theft protection
Over 33% of adults in the United States have been victims of identity theft. Identity theft is when someone uses your personally identifying information to commit fraud or criminal acts. There are various types of identity theft, such as:
- Bank account theft
- Tax identity theft
- Medical identity theft
- Criminal identity theft
Identity theft insurance protects you by covering the costs of identity theft. This insurance can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars along with countless hours fixing your identity theft case.
8. Long term care insurance
One of the most essential types of insurance is long-term care insurance. None of us want to think about not being able to take care of ourselves, but we need to prepare in advance. Health insurance does not cover the types of services that long-term insurance covers. This policy covers costs such as assistance with daily activities and if you have a chronic medical condition.
For instance, if you were to need help bathing, using the restroom, etc., this would be covered with the policy. It's important to purchase long-term insurance sooner than later because it's one of the types of insurance you may not qualify for once you have a condition.
9. Umbrella policy
Depending on your situation and the protection you desire, you may want to purchase an Umbrella insurance policy. This policy is a personal liability policy that protects you if the costs are more than your homeowners and auto insurance coverage. For instance, if the cost of the incident were $25,000, and your policy only covered $15,000, then the Umbrella insurance would cover the remaining $10,000 of expenses.
Without this type of insurance, you will pay the remaining expenses out of pocket. Remember liability insurance policy types protect against damage to other people and property. You still need to have other types of insurance in place to protect your property and assets.
Choose what's best for your situation
Bottom line: Make sure that whatever additional insurance coverage you get makes sense for your life situation and that the monthly cost for coverage fits into your budget.
The potential payout from an insurance policy should far outweigh the cost you'll be paying to have the coverage over time. By having the right types of insurance you can prevent financial mishaps and protect your assets!