7 Vital Insurance Types You Really Can’t Afford to Skip Buying

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare) lead to historic gains in health insurance coverage, and yet, some Americans still don’t have insurance for a variety of reasons.

About 28 million people don’t have health insurance, and just over 14% of the population lacks auto insurance.

Maybe you don’t believe in insurance. Maybe you don’t think it’s worth the cost. Or maybe you aren’t sure what kind of insurance to get.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep reading–we’ve compiled a list of the seven insurance types that you can’t live without.

  1. Health Insurance

We can joke about the American healthcare system, but the fact of the matter is that you need to have health insurance if you don’t want to be one hospital stay away from bankruptcy.

It sounds bleak, but that’s the truth. Hospital bills are the largest out-of-pocket expense for people who filed for medical bankruptcy. Heart valve disorders top the list at around $41,878 per stay, while heart attacks, complications from a medical device, implants, and grafts come in at around $20,000 per stay.

And if you have a chronic condition that requires frequent hospital visits, health insurance is even more vital to keeping you and your family above water.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are five things you need to know when choosing health insurance and the questions you need to ask a provider.

  1. Auto Insurance

Next on the list is auto insurance. After your house, your car is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make in your lifetime, and the cost of driving without insurance is high.

In most states, driving without insurance (or proof that you’ve met your state’s financial responsibility requirements) is illegal.

Whether or not you cause an accident, if you’re caught driving without insurance you could face a wide range of consequences ranging from fines to imprisonment to suspension of your license.

Plus, if you’re involved in an accident, the cost of liability could become very expensive (worse if the accident is your fault). Auto insurance can help pay for medical bills, car repairs, and property damage so you won’t be facing financial ruin.

If you need help finding an auto insurance policy, check out these tips.

  1. Homeowners Insurance

One type of insurance that is usually mandatory if you have a mortgage is property insurance. This makes a lot of sense when you remember that a house is the largest purchase most people will ever make, and banks want to make sure they’ll get their money back.

Homeowners insurance typically covers the house itself, as well as a rather impressive array of potential hazards, including spaceships, weddings, libel, and the afterlife. Yes, seriously.

  1. Renters Insurance

If you don’t own your home and choose to rent instead, you’re going to want to invest in renter’s insurance instead.

Not convinced? The reason is actually quite simple.

Let’s say you’re away for the holidays. And let’s say you also have terrible luck and someone breaks into your apartment while you’re away, stealing all your valuable electronics.

If you don’t have renter’s insurance, you’ll be paying out of pocket to replace everything.

You see, while your landlord has property insurance, that insurance only covers damage to the dwelling itself, not to your personal possessions.

That policy also has some tricky coverage loopholes that could leave you stranded with the bill, which is why renter’s insurance covers an impressive array of potential hazards such as:

  • Riots
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Vandalism or theft
  • Water damage
  • Explosions
  • Fire
  • Windstorm or hail

It’s important to note, however, that renter’s insurance DOES NOT cover flooding, which is a separate flood insurance policy altogether. And if you do spring for flood insurance, use this resource to prepare for your NFIP flood premium shock.

  1. Life Insurance

Many young people don’t think they need life insurance. Many seniors over 65 don’t think they need it either.

Both parties are wrong.

Life insurance is a vital safeguard if anyone relies on you financially. Basically, if your death and the sudden loss of your income would have a material impact on your family members, getting life insurance is a good idea.

You see, many people inaccurately view life insurance as an investment. But life insurance isn’t an investment–it’s a risk management tool.

It can even be used to help cover the cost of your final expenses after your death, which is a much more significant sum than you might imagine (think something to the tune of $11,000+).

  1. Disability Insurance

If your boss has workers’ compensation insurance, you might not think that you need disability insurance. But you’re going to be in for a sorry surprise when you’re injured outside of work.

You see, while workers’ comp covers injuries that occur on the clock to protect your boss from lawsuits, disability insurance covers you for the cost of lost wages and medical bills resulting from injuries that occur outside of work.

And that’s a big deal, considering that 1 in 4 people will become disabled at some point before they retire.

  1. Pet Insurance

Spot and KitKat have been part of the family for years. Why not treat them like family with pet insurance?

Pet insurance isn’t as well known as many other types of insurance on this list, and it might be odd to think about your beloved fur baby as insurable–after all, you wouldn’t insure human children (directly, anyway).

But the fact is that pets get sick and injured too, and those surprise vet bills can get expensive. Think of pet insurance like health insurance for your furry friend–and another sign that you love them.

Need More Advice on Insurance Types?

A lot of people think of insurance as cold and impersonal, but in fact, it’s the exact opposite. You insure your house or your pet or even your health because you love these things and need them in order to live a full, healthy life.

So, if you still need to buy some insurance types, don’t wait until something you love is at risk.

If you’re shopping for insurance companies, we’ve got your back. Here are the top 10 best insurance companies you should consider in your search.

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