As life changes, so do your insurance needs. When should you get car insurance? Renters or homeowners insurance? Disability insurance? Life insurance? Long-term care insurance? As if insurance isn’t complicated enough, there are times when you will need to add or change your policies. While this sounds like a lot to think about, here is the general breakdown of how insurance will change over your lifetime.
1. With a new driver comes car insurance
The first insurance policy to consider is car insurance. New drivers are anxious to get out on the road, and parents are anxious about what this will cost them. Keeping a motor vehicle record as clean as possible and being a safe driver avoids insurance companies considering the policyholder an at-risk driver and raising the premium. This includes traffic violations, license suspensions, and any at-fault accidents. Taking a drivers education course can also result in safe driving practices and potentially lowering the premium.
Parents may decide to add their adult child to their policy, but if the vehicle is in the adult child’s name, then the adult child will need a separate auto insurance policy. To find a policy that works, check reviews on Clearsurance to see what other consumers are saying about their carriers. Understand how much the deductible is, as well as the type of coverage available by checking out The Basics of Auto Insurance.
2. With graduation comes renters insurance
Whether living in an off-campus college apartment or renting an apartment after graduating, consider renters insurance. A landlord should carry fire, disaster, and liability insurance on the rental space, but a renters insurance policy will cover personal possessions. It is important to take inventory of all personal items should something happen. Renters insurance can cover losses due to fire, vandalism, theft, and a water leak in the unit; however, flood damageis not usually covered unless it is caused by a named occurrence in the renters insurance policy.
3. Protect your health with health insurance
Next on the list is health (and possibly dental) insurance. Some employers may provide its employees with a healthcare plan, but not all do. If you choose not to join their plan, consider purchasing a policy. Some states do provide individual health care plans. Check with your employer or your state’s health department to determine the coverage that’s best for you.
4. Upgrade and safeguard your space with homeowners insurance
After building a nest egg, the next step may be to upgrade to a condo or a house. Purchasing a new home will result in a new homeowners insurance policy, as your mortgage company will most likely require homeowners insurance. The premium will be determined by many factors, such as location or what the home’s previous claims history looks like. Check out The Basics of Homeowners Insurance to learn what that means for you.
5. Accidents do happen, be prepared with disability insurance
Illnesses and injuries are unpredictable and can prevent one from working. Disability insurance serves the purpose of protecting one’s income if an injury occurs, resulting in the inability to earn an income. It can replace 40–60% of the policyholder’s gross income. There are many options to include in a policy and different protection. Generally, the two types of policies are short-term disability and long-term disability. Some employers offer these as part of their benefit plan.
6. Starting a family? Consider life insurance
The need for life insurance becomes greater with marriage and even greater with the addition of children. To ensure that the policyholder’s dependents will not suffer financially should one pass away early, life insurance is one of the best vehicles to protect the policyholder’s family.
7. Pet insurance
Children may not be the only addition to the family. Pets bring much joy to a family, but they can also bring unexpected expenses, especially if they develop a health issue or a need for surgery. Something to consider is pet insurance. Premiums will depend on the breed and age of the pet, as well as the geological location. Pet insurance can cover the pet’s wellness needs, illness, accidents, emergencies, preventive care, etc.
8. Consider umbrella insurance as assets grow
Umbrella insurance is additional liability insurance that covers large liability claims. It is useful in order to extend the coverage beyond the limits of the current policy. It usually covers personal and bodily injury, property damage, and landlord liability.
9. Long-term care insurance
A common coverage that people overlook is the need for long-term care insurance. This provides coverage for home care, assisted living, or nursing home care, which Medicare and other health insurance plans do not cover. It can save you and your family from a great financial burden. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the best age for most people to purchase this type of policy is in their 50s. Prospective policyholders should apply when they are in good health and, if the policy allows it, add more coverage later on. There may even be a discount for good health. As time passes, one’s health may decline, affecting the chance of a carrier approving an application for this type of insurance.
10. Medicare for those 65+
Babyboomers can begin to use Medicare for health care coverage at the age of 65, but if one retires before that, the retiree should explore options of an individual health insurance plan as a retired individual under 65 years old.
Insurance is an essential part of life, but can easily be overwhelming when looking at the big picture. Knowing what to expect of your insurance can alleviate undue stress. Relax and enjoy all of the curve balls life throws at you knowing that you are keeping up with your insurance needs.
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