Insurance – Finding the best fit for you (Part 1)

Being a “grown up” is great because you get to make your own decisions! But when I started my journey on investigating the various types of insurance available to consumers, I suddenly reminded myself that it was kind of great being a kid after all! In this 3 part blog series, I’m going to attempt to simplify the basics of various insurances so you can make an informed decision as to what might fit your situation best.

Pet Insurance – So you think selecting health insurance is “rough”? Well shopping for Pet Insurance can be “ruff” too. Much like health insurance, there are numerous insurance plans that pet owners can take out on their pets to help cover wellness visits, comprehensive illnesses, prescriptions and accident coverage. (Pretty much nose to tail!) The coverage ranges widely between various providers. Some companies have an annual deductible and benefit limitations or caps, while others offer unlimited coverage on illness and accidents with a per-condition deductible and no benefits cap. The higher the coverage amount and lower the deductible, the more you’re going to pay for coverage. Pet insurance can range anywhere from $12/month for Kitty Girl to $160/month for Spot. According to consumeradvocate.org, an estimated 1 in 3 pets will need unexpected vet care.  Every 6 seconds a pet parent is faced with a vet bill of over $3K and $12.2 billion is projected to be spent on vet care this year.

Before committing to purchasing pet insurance, you are encouraged to review your budget, assess the needs of your pet and decide what the purr-fect solution is for you and your furry friend. You may decide that setting aside a monthly amount in your budget for anticipated costs is more cost-effective than paying a monthly premium that you may or may not use.

Renter’s Insurance – Sometimes known as “tenants insurance,” this is a type of policy that provides coverage of your personal contents/belongings in the event that your dwelling is damaged by fire, water, theft, etc.  Renter’s insurance also provides liability protection in the event someone becomes injured at your residence. Most policies provide protection (possibly for an additional cost) for electronics, clothes, furniture, jewelry and collectibles and the policy may cover personal items should they be stolen from your vehicle. It’s important to understand that your Landlord may have a Homeowner’s policy on the property, but the Landlord’s policy covers the structure of the dwelling, not your personal contents.

Renter’s insurance is fairly inexpensive. Generally you can obtain $50K in coverage for less than $400/year.   You might think that your possessions aren’t worth much, but consider this question… Should you have the misfortune of a fire in your dwelling and all of your belongings went up in smoke, how much money would it take you to replace those items? Probably far more than the $400/year that it would cost you to purchase Renter’s insurance. If you are currently an uninsured renter, I would highly encourage you to speak with your auto insurance agent for quotes on Renter’s insurance. Most companies will give a multi-policy discount, which could make your Renter’s insurance even more affordable, better yet, give you peace of mind!

Travel Insurance – There are two categories of travel insurance. One is used for trip cancellation and the other is used for trip insurance. You are generally offered to purchase trip insurance when you purchase a ticket or book online or through a travel agent. You can purchase trip insurance that will protect you in the event you need to cancel your trip (with a valid reason) prior to your departure. The insurance can also provide coverage should your trip be interrupted and you must depart early (death of a friend, flood or fire at your home or other qualifying event). It may also provide coverage for lost luggage, emergency medical evacuation, travel delay, ID theft protection and emergency medical. Obviously, the cost of travel insurance varies by the degree of coverage. An example of the cost for trip insurance would be a 7 day all-inclusive trip from Indiana to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The trip would cost approximately $1500 and I could purchase trip insurance for $150. Depending on when I cancelled my trip, trip insurance would provide me with my prepaid non-refundable portion of my trip cost. Otherwise, if I didn’t have the insurance and had to cancel, I would forfeit most, if not all of the money I had already paid for the trip.

The other type of trip insurance is Travel Medical insurance. While a portion of it can be covered in trip insurance, this type of insurance is typically for travelers who are traveling outside of their home country for an extended amount of time. Travel Medical insurance can cover new medical conditions, injuries or accidents while traveling for a monthly premium. You may or may not need this insurance depending on your existing health insurance coverage. Some HMO (Health Managed Organization) or PPO (Preferred  Provider Organization) plans don’t cover expenses outside of the United States unless the condition is deemed an emergency and then, they may only cover a portion because the provider is “out of network.” Before you set sail, you are encouraged to speak with your health insurance representative to discuss the current coverage to ensure a medical emergency doesn’t sink your ship!

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