Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

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Worried About the Future? Get Covered

You don’t like tossing and turning at night worrying about life’s “what-ifs” and feeling anxious about big bills that could destroy you financially.  No matter how careful you are, bad stuff happens to good people.  For some things, such as driving a car, insurance is usually required. Other things, such as health insurance, are simply a good idea.  Pay it as required, and then don’t think about it.  Relax and feel safe.

Health Insurance
If you’re lucky, health insurance will be a benefit offered at your workplace.  When starting your job, the human resources department will provide several choices.  Read all the details and ask questions. Some programs offer dental coverage as well as eyeglasses and prescriptions. Make sure you know what‘s covered and if you’re restricted to specific hospitals, clinics, or physicians.

Youth and good health are on your side if you must get your own health insurance and pay out-of-pocket.  You definitively want to take your time shopping around and see what your options are.  Get on the Internet for free quotes.  Make calls.  Meet with several insurance agents.  Obtain all information in writing. Choose a health insurance from a company whose name you recognize such as United Health Care or Golden Rule.   

A cheap premium from an obscure company won’t help you much when you break your leg skiing and your insurance company’s phone has been disconnected.  Most policies will require a thorough physical, so if you have any pre-existing conditions, be prepared for many more questions and possibly a higher premium.  People in their 20s might benefit most from a policy with the lowest deductible (the initial amount you pay before the insurance kicks in their share).   

Be sure to know the amount of the co-pay, if yearly check-ups and routine lab work are covered, if any specific conditions are not covered, such as something related to your pre-existing condition, and know if you’re limited to certain health care providers.

Auto Insurance

A small icy patch on the road or a guy driving behind you who’s probably been partying  too long will make you glad to have auto insurance; accidents catch you by surprise and only take a split second of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Choose a reputable company such as Allstate or State Farm, not some fly-by-night company that no one’s heard of.  If you’re male, 18 to 25 years old, expect to pay more than your same-age girlfriend or your older brother; you guys are considered high risk and pay a higher premium.  Make sure that you know your insurance deductible.  For a slightly higher premium, you can get towing services and car rental.  Your personal situation will dictate whether these extras are worth paying for.  You usually get a lower premium if you pay every six months rather than monthly.

Renters Insurance
It’s been a stressful week, and you’ve just returned to your apartment after taking your last final, only to find that your place has been ransacked.  Your computer was only two months old and now it’s gone.  Thank goodness for renters insurance.  It protects your belongings in the case of fire, theft, vandalism or other loss.  Be sure to take a thorough inventory before getting a policy so that you know what you are insuring and the approximate amount of coverage that you need.  Replacement value is the amount you would need to buy new stuff and will make your premium higher.  Cash value is the depreciated value of your possessions.  Know the difference; your agent will be able to guide you.  Often, the company that insures your car also sells renters insurance.  Still, it is best to shop around.

You may not need renters insurance.  The most expensive thing that you own is probably your computer.  As electronic prices are falling while insurance rates are rising, it may simply not be worth paying renters insurance premiums of approximately $150 annually to protect a $500 notebook computer.  It’s good to be aware that renters insurance exists, but it may not be cost effective for you.  Crunch the numbers and get an online quote before contacting an insurance agent.

Disability Insurance
Your job has you seated at the computer much of the day grinding out reports.  After work, you head to the racquetball court.  If you get hurt how can you possibly perform your tasks at work?   This is when disability insurance might come in handy.  This type of coverage protects your income should you become disabled, temporarily or permanently.  You definitely want to read the fine print, and there’s lots of it, on disability insurance, especially when it comes to defining disability. A longer elimination period (number of days before the coverage begins) generally gets you a lower premium.

Life Insurance
Life insurance is recommended if you have large debts such as on a house or car or if you have dependents (kids).  Most other people, possibly even you, probably don’t really need life insurance.   Whole and term are the two main types.

Take your time shopping for insurance.  Health and car insurance are a must.  Not having them could wipe you out financially.


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2 Responses to Worried About the Future? Get Covered

  1. Debra Karplus, author says:

    I enjoyed writing this article. I hope you liked reading it. I welcome your comments.

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