Unexpected losses can put the best-laid financial plans in turmoil. Insurance coverage is necessary to protect against unexpected costs, property loss, and disability. There are no universal answers to the question of how much insurance is enough. Situations vary.
A single 22-year old, unmarried, in perfect health, without dependents has different needs than a 35-year old working mother of four. But both certainly need insurance coverage.
Some types of insurance are expensive, but that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary. It’s important to determine your needs before comparing policies.
Consider these insurance buying mistakes:
1. Choosing deductibles that are too low. By doubling your deductible, you could cut your monthly premium by a third. Save the extra money in your savings account. If you do have a claim, you’ll have the extra available to cover the higher deductible. If you don’t have a claim, it’s money in your pocket.
- This applies to many types of insurance coverage. Compare deductibles and premiums. Do the math and make an informed decision.
2. Opting for COBRA. The government has given you the right to continue with your employer’s health coverage for up to 18 months after leaving your job. But you’re required to pay 102% of the premium.
- You can find a better deal on your own. Shop around and find a cost-effective medical plan. Employer-sponsored plans are overkill for many.
3. Only carrying enough homeowner’s insurance to cover the market value. This is particularly true if you live in an older, larger home. It might cost far more to rebuild your home than it’s worth on the open market. Ensure that you’re covered for the rebuilding cost of your home.
4. Buying life insurance when you don’t have dependents. It’s challenging to think of a reason for carrying life insurance when you’re single and dependent-free. Life insurance isn’t necessary for everyone. Avoid paying for policies that you don’t even need.
5. Buying life insurance coverage for your children. Unless you’re financially dependent on your children, it doesn’t make sense to insure them. Life insurance is to financially protect the people that are left behind. If you’re children aren’t contributing financially, avoid insuring them.
6. Failing to review a company’s complaints. It’s not all about the premium. Saving a few dollars each month might not be worth the hassle when it comes time to make a claim. See how other insurance customers rate their experiences. Paying a couple of dollars more each month might be worth it.
7. Failing to review all the options each year. It’s common to stick with an insurer for decades. Avoid letting the past determine the future. Review all of your insurance policies each year. You’re bound to find at least one better option.
8. Only shopping by premium cost. The monthly premium is often the only factor considered by those searching for a policy. But what are you actually getting for that premium? Remember to review the deductible and all the benefits the policy provides.
- Avoid paying for features you don’t need.
9. Failing to buy disability insurance. You’re at least 5 times more likely to be disabled than to die, regardless of your age. How will you pay your bills and care for your family if you’re unable to work? Disability insurance can be expensive, but it’s one of the most important policies to carry.
Avoiding mistakes is an effective way to ensure success. Insurance can be expensive, but shopping around can make the necessary coverage more affordable. Determine your needs and purchase insurance intelligently.