As much as you try to plan out most aspects of your life and keep up with your busy day-to-day schedule, you can’t always prevent the unexpected from happening. Sometimes the unexpected can result in some very nice surprises, but other times, it might result in situations where you’re in need of financial protection.
That’s where insurance comes in. Insurance provides a financial safeguard in the event that certain things happen such as car accidents, house fires, accidental or unexpected deaths, or even business theft. When it comes to buying insurance, there is no shortage of options. In fact, as of 2012, there were more than 6,000 insurance companies in the United States.
While there are insurance policies available for just about anything, you may not always know how to compare insurance policies or know what kinds of insurance you need in your life. Purchasing the right insurance policies is based on many factors, including age, lifestyle, and employment, but there are four types that are most recommended for everyone:
Getting life insurance is often a good idea because it usually helps cover your funeral expenses and helps provide for your loved ones, especially if your family is dependent on your salary to help make ends meet. Most experts will tell you that purchasing a life insurance policy that’s 10 times your yearly income is a good idea, but there are many types of policies available.
As you try to calculate how much life insurance coverage you need, you’ll want to factor in the cost of funeral expenses as well as your daily living expenses and things such as loans, credit card debt, mortgage payments, child care, and taxes.
There are several different types of life insurance and you can work with local agents in your area to get life insurance quotes to ultimately pick the best policy for you. If you are wondering how to compare insurance policies with life insurance, consider the factors listed above and what kind of insurance might be best to carry.
Two of the most popular kinds of life insurance are cash value and term life. Cash value has an investment feature and is the portion of a life insurance policy that earns interest and that you can pull from if you have an emergency. Term life insurance is simple: you select a policy that pays out a pre-determined amount if you pass away during the term of the policy.
Even if you consider yourself the healthiest person in the world, it doesn’t take much to come down with a serious illness and get very sick. That’s why it’s important to look at different policies offered by health insurance companies and get the insurance you need. But for some folks, health insurance is a luxury they simply can’t afford.
If you’re looking for affordable insurance companies, one of your best options may be participating in the insurance program offered by your employer. In 2019, single coverage in an employer-sponsored program was about $7,200. If you’re wondering how to compare insurance policies for health, there are many to choose from if you’re shopping around:
- Exclusive provider organization plans (EPOs): These give you a list of health care providers to choose from in your network. Typically, out-of-network care isn’t covered.
- Health maintenance organization plans (HMOs): These also offer a list of providers, but usually require a person to pick a primary care provider. Your primary provider coordinates all your health needs to help keep your out-of-pocket costs down. These might be what you find at your place of employment.
- High deductible health care plans (HDHPs): These have high deductibles and usually require a deductible to be paid before services can be covered. These plans are usually cheaper and folks who get them usually qualify for health savings accounts as well.
- Preferred provider organization plans (PPOs): These policies keep costs down by having rates that are negotiated in advance by a setlist of health insurance companies and providers. With a PPO plan, you can visit specialists directly if you need to, rather than having to get approval from your primary care provider first.
For those without a health insurance plan, you may be wondering, where can I get a physical done without insurance? One of your best bets is to visit a local urgent care clinic. Urgent cares usually have a set pricing list for most medical services and you can check this pricing list before you go back to meet with a doctor. This way, you’ll know right away what you’ll be paying for a physical.
You might think you’re one of the best drivers you know, but car accidents can happen without warning and in the blink of an eye. In 2018, there were more than six million car accidents in the United States alone and more than 38,000 people died as a result of car accidents. To keep yourself covered and to prepare for the unexpected, it’s important to have good auto insurance.
If you pondering how to compare insurance policies for auto insurance, here’s what you need to look for:
- Track record: There are a lot of insurance companies, but to narrow your search, check your state’s insurance commission website. This will allow you to see the overall ratings for each company including their complaint ratios.
- Look at the same coverage from different companies: If you really want to see what kind of savings you’ll get from auto insurance coverage, find the plan you’re looking for and runs the numbers by different insurance companies. Basically, you need to determine your coverage limits and then get quotes from different companies for those limits.
- Look for discounts: Many companies offer discounts for things like bundling policies or safe driving. With each discount, you’ll get a lower rate. If you want to reduce your premiums, you can also raise your deductible. Shop around and see what discounts are offered by different companies.
- Compare optional insurance: Many car insurance companies also offer optional coverage for things like towing and rental car coverage. Some of these optional coverages can be worth it because you never know when they might come in handy and they might help you as you figure out how to compare insurance policies.
As you figure out how to compare insurance policies, you may not immediately think about long-term disability coverage. But statistics have shown that as much as 25% of the current workforce will eventually need long-term disability coverage before they reach retirement age.
One thing to remember as you learn how to compare insurance policies is that health insurance can cover hospitalizations and medical bills, you’re still going to have daily expenses to take care of, especially if you’re not able to work for weeks or months.
Many places of employment offer short-term and long-term disability insurance as part of a benefits package. To secure disability coverage, this can be one of the easiest and most affordable options. As you shop around, look for a policy that guarantees income replacement. Most policies pay out a percentage of income and some also have a waiting period before the coverage kicks in, so make sure to read the fine print before you sign anything.
As you’re read, the insurance policies listed above can help you from a personal standpoint. But if you’re a business owner, you also need to carry a good business insurance policy. Running a business always comes with risks, but at the end of the day, you need to make sure your business assets are protected and that your business is insured.
Here are five good reasons you need to get insurance if you’re a business owner:
Following The Law
Believe it or not, the Small Business Association requires that businesses provide different types of insurance such as unemployment benefits, disability, and workers’ compensation among others. Businesses that don’t carry the coverage they need could be fined and face any number of penalties.
Protection From Lawsuits
As successful as your business might be now, that could all change at a moment’s notice with one workplace accident, one disgruntled employee, or one broken contract. If a lawsuit is filed against your business, your business could fold if you don’t have the necessary insurance. As you learn how to compare insurance policies, find a good liability insurance plan. This will give you peace of mind and let you focus on running your business, rather than being fearful of dodging lawsuits.
Covering The Unexpected
In insurance parlance, sometimes businesses experience losses due to Acts of God. These are accidents or events that aren’t caused by human hands, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even fires caused by lightning.
There are two different kinds of insurance that typically cover Acts of God. All-risk policies cover events except for those that are expressly mentioned. Peril-specific policies list specific acts and often cover fire, floods, and other incidents. For this reason, business insurance a good idea, in the event that you need to make a fire damage insurance claim
Upping Your Credibility
As you’re figuring out how to compare insurance policies to get a new business insurance plan, keep in mind that having business insurance also makes your business more credible. Having insurance lets your employees as well as your clients or prospective clients know that you can be trusted.
Think about it this way: If you’re in the construction business and are good at what you do, you may have a time or two where something does wrong on a job or someone is unsatisfied with the work you do for them. In the event that something like that occurs, you’ve got a way to compensate them while protecting your credibility. In the customer’s eyes, your business is still honest and willing to admit when something goes wrong.
Protecting Your Employees
As a business owner, it’s important to remember that the most valuable asset you have is your employees, not the equipment used to make products or the products or services you offer to customers.
Your employees are the ones who help keep your business up and running and it’s important to protect them in the event of any accidents. As previously noted, it’s required by law that you carry workers compensation, but you should also consider offering disability coverage, even if your employees have to pay part of the cost.
Do Your Research
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to buy a home and need a title insurance policy to cover any defects to a property, you’re a business owner in need of the services of a good insurance attorney to handle insurance matters, or you’re a teen getting auto coverage on your first car; it pays to have good insurance.
With so many kinds of insurance and so many insurance companies, it can seem overwhelming when it comes to picking the right insurance plan. But by learning how to compare insurance policies, considering all the factors that go into making an insurance plan, and planning for the unexpected, you can find insurance plans that are perfect for your needs.
You can find car insurance that will cover you in the event of a car-deer accident or a collision, by providing towing services or rental car coverage. You can find a good business insurance plan that covers your business assets, your employees, and protects against any unexpected incidents. You can find a good health insurance plan that covers you medically, whether you’re dealing with symptoms from the flu or you need coverage for an upcoming surgery.
Regardless of what you’re dealing with in life, it pays to have good insurance. You never know when unexpected things will happen and by having good insurance, you can meet the unexpected head-on and keep forging ahead with your day-to-day schedule. If you don’t have insurance, there’s never been a better time to go and get coverage.