You’re probably familiar with health insurance. By keeping yourself healthy, you are able to continue working, bring home money, and get the most out of life. While choosing a health insurance plan can be complicated (what is the difference between an HMO and a PPO? what are metal tiers?), don’t let this deter you from getting health insurance. Health insurance doesn’t only protect you and your family in the event of an accident or disease; it also keeps you healthy throughout the year with things like preventative check-ups and annual wellness visits.
So, how do you wade through the hundreds of options to find the plan that best fits your life? When choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to keep in mind:
As you buy health insurance, don’t forget that adult dental and vision coverage is usually not included. It’s a great idea to buy dental and vision insurance as a form of supplemental insurance. It can keep you and your family health, both physically and financially!
Dental insurance is designed to reduce your costs associated with routine preventive care, as well as other necessary care that might arise throughout the year. While paying for routine preventative care like a cleaning isn’t usually too expensive without dental insurance, paying for more extensive procedures that are unpredictable like root canals and crowns can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Most people choose to buy dental insurance to protect themselves from these types of costs.
Most plans tend to cover three levels of care: preventative and diagnostic care, basic restorative care, and major restorative care.
Be sure to keep in mind that most plans don’t cover cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dental procedures include things like veneers, teeth whitening, and, usually, orthodontia. You will be required to cover all of these procedures out of your own pocket.
Vision insurance is designed to reduce your costs associated with routine eye exams and prescription eye-wear, as well as other necessary care that might come up. Vision insurance helps make it affordable to schedule regular eye exams. Not only can this help you identify vision correction needs, but it can also help diagnose eye diseases while they are in their early stages. Considering 66 percent of American adults need vision correction, this can really pay off.
Most plans cover preventative care, as well as prescription eye-wear. You can also choose plans that offer additional options for coverage.
If you live in a rental, whether it’s a house, apartment, studio, or duplex, the building itself is most likely insured. That means losses sustained to the structure itself are covered. However, this does not cover your belongings (even though many people think it does)! Most people severely underestimate the value of their belongings. Once you start adding up the value of your electronics, furniture, clothes, and products, it quickly becomes evident that they are worth more than you expected. In fact, the average renter owns approximately $20,000 in personal property.
So what can you do to protect yourself in the event of a fire, theft, or one of the many catastrophes or incidents that can happen? Buy renter’s insurance. While many factors impact the cost of renter’s insurance (location, pets, type of residence), the average plan price is only $12 per month. Additionally, renter’s insurance doesn’t just cover your personal property. Most policies also include liability coverage. Liability coverage protects you if someone gets injured at your house by paying legal expenses and medical payments.
Research shows that 1 in 4 people will experience a disabling condition that results in missing at least a year of work before normal retirement age. Most people don’t have enough money saved to live without income for an extended period of time. Disability insurance can help provide you and your family with income security in an instance of illness or injury. With disability insurance, you will receive a percentage of your income if you are disabled and incapable of working. Disability insurance is particularly important if you are the breadwinner in your family or don’t have a significant amount of money in savings.
You should ask yourself a few questions while you shop around for a plan:
Most people don’t think about death in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s but ironically, your 20s, 30s, and 40s are exactly the right time to start thinking about life insurance. When you have someone in your life who relies on you - a spouse, child, or other dependent - which can happen pretty early on in life, you should begin considering life insurance. When you buy life insurance, you are guaranteeing that those left behind are able to cover final expenses, remaining debts, and lost income without having to deal with a financial burden during a time of mourning.
As you begin researching life insurance, you need to understand the difference between the two primary types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term life insurance lasts for a predetermined amount of time. Once that time is up, you can renew the policy, but it will likely be more expensive. Term policies are less expensive than permanent policies. Permanent life insurance lasts for the entire life of the insured person. It also has a cash accumulation value and death benefit. Permanent life insurance plans are usually much more expensive. Furthermore, most people don’t end up keeping their policy because of the high cost.
Insurance can be daunting, especially when it seems like you need insurance to cover almost every aspect of your life. However, by investing a little time into researching and understanding the different types of insurance, you can begin to provide economic security to yourself and your loved ones.