6 Types of Insurance You Need at Every Life Stage
Signing up for these additional plans is a personal decision. Still, the following guidelines will help you consider how and when each of these policies could benefit you, and potentially your family, the most.
Life insurance comes in two forms — whole and term — both of which provide similar benefits. These policies offer your loved ones with a set amount of money to cover their finances when you are no longer able to help. For example, a life insurance plan can help your family pay off a house, send the kids to college, and even pay for your funeral.
When to consider it: Young, healthy individuals might not consider life insurance a necessity. Still, life insurance policies benefit anyone with loved ones they’d like to take care of or assets they’d like to have paid off after they’re gone. Although it’s particularly popular after buying a home, getting married, or having kids, anyone can benefit from it. Your employer might offer a term life insurance policy through your work, but you’ll want to consider several factors — like how much the policy pays out, and what the terms are — to decide if that particular coverage is enough for your needs.
Buying a house comes with a lot of financial responsibility. Aside from making sure you can afford a home purchase, you’ll want to confirm that your purchase is appropriately insured, as well. Most people understand the logistics and necessity of homeowner’s insurance since a home is likely the most significant asset they will ever buy — but renters might need some convincing.
Skipping renters insurance could be a mistake, though, since it’s likely that your landlord’s property insurance covers only the actual structure of your apartment or rental home and the land it’s built on, not the items (your items) in the house. When picking a policy, it’s essential to understand what is covered in your renters and homeowners policy, since some might not cover crucial things, mainly depending on where you live, like flooding or mold.
When to consider it: Most mortgage companies require homebuyers to purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy before settling on a home, but for renters, the choice is often optional. Having said that, if you’re a renter and you want to protect your belongings, renters insurance is the best way to do so.
Long-term disability insurance
Statistics show that 5.6 percent of working Americans will experience a short-term disability due to illness, injury or pregnancy on average every year. At the same time, more than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before they reach retirement age. Disability insurance is one of the best ways to prepare for unexpected health issues (or even planned ones in some cases, like pregnancies) that keep you out of work for a while. They can help keep you from draining your emergency savings or being unable to pay your bills on time.
When to consider it: This insurance is helpful for anyone who relies on their income for living expenses. A few specific scenarios where it might come in handy would be for older people, people with a history of family illness or women planning to become pregnant, since it can sometimes be used in conjunction with maternity leave or in place of it.
Long-term care insurance
While long-term disability insurance covers someone's income while they are out of work for a while, long-term care insurance covers elements of care that might be required but aren’t covered by health insurance. This can include home care, assisted living, or modifications to your home that are made to accommodate a disability.
When to consider it: Although anyone can benefit from long-term care insurance coverage, it’s particularly advantageous for older people, people with chronic illness and people with a history of family illness.
Critical illness insurance
How it helps: A critical illness insurance policy pays a cash lump sum for additional medical coverage when your traditional health insurance policy falls short. Although these policies tend to be relatively low in cost, they also only cover a limited number of illnesses or emergencies, like cancer or a heart attack.
When to consider it: It’s essential to read up on exactly what your health insurance policy covers — and more specifically, what it doesn’t — especially in the case of a critical illness diagnosis. Generally speaking, most people could benefit from additional critical illness insurance coverage, especially if you have a history of family illness with cancer or heart disease.
Although somewhat different from the above insurance types mentioned, if you rely on travel for your job, or you spend your hard-earned money for frequent personal travel, it’s worth looking into travel insurance. Be sure to read the fine print on any policy to understand what exactly is covered and what isn’t.
When to consider it: If you are a frequent traveler or travel is required as part of your work, it’s important to find insurance, especially for pricey trips. If you’ve spent a large amount of money on your trip, travel insurance can ensure that if you’re unable to keep your plans, you’ll be reimbursed for at least a portion of your expenses.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get sidetracked from important things like picking out essential insurance policies. Different insurance policies can provide critical backup, especially during different phases of your life. It’s necessary to understand how these different policies work — and what they help with — so you can create a wellness strategy that encompasses your full range of needs. When you’re ready to consider how a new insurance policy will best fit into your life, a Voya expert will be ready to assist you.