Resolutionize Your Finances: Insurance

by Kay Lynn

Insurance PolicyInsurance is an expense most of us dislike but consider a necessary evil.  Why?  We pay it hoping that we never get a return on our money. It would mean that something bad happened!

It seems at times there is a policy for everything including identify theft insurance.  Most of us have the same few types: homeowner’s, health and auto.

Renter’s or Home Insurance

A few years ago over 350 homes were burned in our neighborhood and we had to evacuate for three days.  Amazingly, there were people who did not have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance.

Even people with insurance found that they were under-insured.  This means their insurance coverage didn’t provide enough money to rebuild and/or replace their belongings.  Make sure  to review the policy every couple of years so it will cover these costs as they go up over time.

Renters don’t have to worry about rebuilding the home, but they do need to replace belongings so don’t think about skipping this policy if you don’t own the dwelling.

Health Insurance

Yes, people do go without health insurance but disease and injury can happen to people of any age and demographic group.  With the high cost of emergency care, don’t risk going bankrupt due to medical bills.

If you don’t have group insurance from an employer research state insurance groups or offerings from membership affiliations.

Auto Insurance

It’s illegal and irresponsible to drive without auto insurance.  Even if you don’t care about your car, coverage is needed to pay for the other person’s property or medical care if you are at fault in an accident.

Be sure you have sufficient coverage because the recommended minimums have gone up in the past couple of years.   You also might want to increase your deductible if you have no problem funding it from  your emergency fund.

Other Common Insurances

Outside of insuring your bodily assets, there are several policies many people commonly get which are listed below with a brief description.

Life Insurance

Many people would have put this one in the top section, but  I’m at a point where we don’t need life insurance any longer. My husband and I would both be fine financially if the other died.  If you do have someone depending on you for income, then you should probably have life insurance to provide them financial stability.

Dental Insurance

This type of insurance isn’t as clear cut as some of the others.  The coverage is pretty limited and the premiums are costly for what you get.  However, knowing that people without this insurance are more likely not to get routine dental care makes me a proponent.  Be sure that the coverage is worth the premiums when selecting your plan.

Long Term Care Insurance

Insurance that covers the medical, physical and emotional needs of a person over an extended period is known as long term care insurance. Because these costs can add up, the premiums are expensive and like life insurance, increase greatly as the age at purchase goes up.  It’s important to understand if you can afford to be self-insured or should buy coverage.

Disability Insurance

There are short-term and long-term disability policies and this is very often offered by employers.  California employees pay into a state-run short-term disability plan.  These plans are designed to provide income when you are unable to work due to a medical issue.


Take advantage of this month’s resolutionizing your finances by doing an insurance audit. Identify what products you have and evaluate their coverages.  Then you’ll be ready to research policies to cover any gaps or new needs.  Should anything else be added to the list of  important insurance coverages?

This is the third article in a four part series on Resolutionizing your Finances. Visit Other Better Living Network sites focusing on other areas of your life.  Part 1 is about budgeting and Part 2 tackles savings.

Read the other Resolutionize Your 2011 posts by the Better Living Network this week:

How to Purge Toys and Clothes @ Crystal and Company
Resolutionize: Chores vs. Allowance @ Coupon Cookin’
Resolutionize Your Kitchen and Cooking: 10 Kitchen Cleaning Tips @ Eat At Home
Green Your Grocery List Part 2: Meat and Dairy Labels @ The Greenbacks Gal
Resolutionize Your Mommy-tude, Attitude Adjustment @ Savin’ Some

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The Passive Income Earner January 17, 2011 at 10:23 am

Reviewing my coverage for my Home Insurance is on my To Do list this month. I was comparing other home insurance companies and found out they were all more expensive. Having a cheaper insurance is a good thing as long as it covers what you need … So I need to make sure of that.

Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 5:57 am

Passive Income Earner, one of the things I didn’t mention is that you can lower costs by having multiple policies with the same company. My homeowner’s insurance is virtually free after moving it the company that insures our cars due to the discount on the car policies.

Little House January 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

I feel pretty confident in all of my insurance coverages. But this post reminded me to check into my rental insurance amounts and make sure I’m sufficiently covered. As for life insurance, my husband and I do have a policy, but it’s one I hope to cancel someday in the future when I know we would be fine without it.

Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 5:58 am

Little House, good idea to check policies every year and something I need to do as well. Thanks for the reminder.

Nikki January 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Kay, Great post. We just learned that we were both under-insured for Life. We are now switching from whole to term life through a work plan which will be pre-taxed. The rest of our insurance is up-to-date. Thanks for the great tips and reminders.

Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 5:58 am

Nikki, sounds like a great change for you to make to your life insurance. Term is what I would recommend and the fact that you buy it pre-tax is great!

MoneyCone January 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

And while traveling don’t forget travelers insurance. Check with your existing providers if they cover.

Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 6:01 am
Jane Sanders January 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I couldn’t agree more about the necessity of insurance. It blows my mind how many people go without health coverage. It’s a really terrible situation waiting to happen.

Yakezie January 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm

What about an Umbrella Policy? Important to look at that to save oneself from getting cleaned out!

Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 6:04 am

@ Jane: I agree that it’s too much of a risk to go without coverage for the three basics I listed. Those are probably the same people that never get around to saving for retirement either. They just live for today.

@ Yakezie, that sounds like a great future topic. Thanks for suggesting it.

krantcents January 18, 2011 at 9:49 am

Too many people use the excuse of not having enough money for insurance or it is too expensive.. What they don’t realize is they definitely don’t have enough money to replace a house, car or income. There are ways to reduce the cost of insurance so you can cover the biggest risks.

Kay Lynn January 20, 2011 at 3:55 am

Krant Cents, you are right on the money. That short-sightedness will cost a lot more in the end.

Mark January 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

This is a great series! You are absolutely right about the need for insurance. The lack of adequate insurance can decimate your finances.

Kay Lynn January 20, 2011 at 3:56 am

Mark, I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. I think I’ll do this once in a while as an alternative to my usual type posts.

Steve Sildon January 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Found that it’s really important to update your home, life and auto coverages regularly. Life changes, such as kids being born, home improvements, etc. can dramatically change your coverage needs.

Kay Lynn January 20, 2011 at 3:58 am

Steve, excellent reminder about the importance of reviewing our insurance products as well as cable and phone on an annual basis at the very least.

Brandy January 22, 2011 at 5:18 am

Thanks so much for this article. I am always confused about what type of insurance I need. This really helped.

Kay Lynn January 22, 2011 at 7:23 am

Brandy, it’s amazing how many insurance products are out there. I was reading an article yesterday about insurance products people have that they probably don’t need and the list incuded cell phone insurance, travel insurance and extended warranties.

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