Insurance coverage is necessary to protect against unexpected property loss or damage, illness or disability.
Such unexpected losses can put the best-laid financial plans in crises.
While having insurance is critical, often times, people out of ignorance or due to over-sell by fast-talking insurance agents end up paying for coverage that they don’t need.
Peoples insurance needs vary, and so there is no one size fit all when it comes to insurance coverage.
You must find out what best fits your own specific situation. A single 24-year old, unmarried woman, in sound health, with no dependents has different needs from a 40-year old mother of three. Both, of course 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.
When buying insurance, you should consider these common mistakes:
1. Are your deductibles too high or too low?
By doubling your deductible, you could cut your monthly premium by a third. Put the extra money in your savings account. If you do have a claim, you’ll have the extra money 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. But always remember: lower deductibles, higher premium; higher deductibles, lower premium.
2. Did you Opt 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 may be overkill for many.
3. Is your homeowner’s insurance just only enough to cover the market value?
Consider that it might cost more to rebuild your home than it’s worth on the open market.
This is particularly true if you live in an older, larger home. And more so if the value of homes in your neighborhood is currently depressed. Be sure you’re covered for the rebuilding cost of your home.
4. Do you have Life insurance when you don’t have dependents?
I don’t know of a reason to buy 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. You can save or invest that extra money you are sending out to the insurance company.
5. Do you have life insurance coverage for your children?
Unless you’re financially dependent on your children, it makes little sense to insure them.
Life insurance is to financially protect the people that are left behind. It’s meant to replace the income that the person was bringing in. If you’re children aren’t contributing financially, what income then do you plan to replace with life insurance coverage on them?
6. Did you review customers’ satisfaction rate of the insurance company?
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. Do you review all your options each year?
We often buy and we forget; we stick with one insurer for decades. But you want to avoid letting the past determine the future. Review all of your insurance policies each year. You never know, you might often find better options.
8. Do you only shop by premium cost?
The monthly premium is often the only factor many consider when 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.
- Do not pay for features you don’t need.
You’re about five 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 a good way to save you some money. Insurance can be costly, but thinking through your actual needs and comparing coverage and options can make you a winner all the time