Whether you live in the USA or not, there’s likely to be some form of insurance that you use in your day-to-day life. From car insurance and home insurance to health insurance and travel insurance, they all have different types of unique benefits that can help you protect what matters most to you and your family. Here are five common types of insurance in the USA, along with their pros and cons.
1) Medical insurance
The term medical insurance is rather broad and can apply to a variety of different policies, but it generally refers to a plan that helps cover medical expenses. Without health insurance, you could face thousands in medical bills following an accident or illness. With a policy from an American insurance provider, you will still be responsible for co-pays (an amount you pay each time you visit your doctor) and deductibles (the amount you are required to pay before your health plan kicks in), but at least your care is covered by something. This type of policy is most likely regulated by state law and won’t work outside its borders; therefore, it is best to get one through your employer or government program if possible.
2) Life insurance
This kind of insurance is designed to cover funeral and burial costs when you die, along with other costs like medical bills, mortgages, or car payments. Term life insurance is an affordable way to do just that. However, it may not offer much support to surviving family members if they need money to live on while they search for new jobs or settle any debts your death left behind. Permanent life insurance can be a better option if you’re looking for a policy that will also provide funds for your loved ones after you pass away. This kind of insurance has cash value, which means it can be cashed out when needed—which isn’t possible with term life policies.
3) Car insurance
In most states, it’s mandatory to have auto insurance. If you get caught driving without insurance, you’ll be fined and your driver’s license could be suspended. Many drivers choose liability insurance to protect themselves from lawsuits or other damages resulting from a car accident. The more coverages you have, such as collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, the higher your rate will be. Your state might require that certain coverages be included in your policy—or it might not.
4) Home insurance
Home insurance provides coverage against theft, fire, and natural disasters. Most policies can also cover personal liability related to accidents and injuries on your property. Whether you’re insuring a house or an apartment, there are two main types of home insurance: HO-3 and HO-4. The former covers damage to your home as well as its contents from any cause other than flood; it doesn’t cover flood damage. The latter is designed for properties located in areas at high risk for flooding; it costs more but offers more comprehensive coverage and generally covers damage from any type of event that causes loss or destruction to a home. Check with your state about minimum coverage requirements for homeowners who live in special flood hazard areas.
5) Specialty coverages
Specialty coverages are add-ons that can be used to expand your existing coverage or stand alone as special protection. For example, if you’re worried about losing your home or other property to a natural disaster such as a flood, you can purchase special flood insurance for it. Or if you own expensive jewelry and want to protect it from theft, consider buying coverage for individual pieces; often called separate limits insurance. Of course, each additional kind of coverage will come with an additional cost—it all depends on how much more protection you need and whether or not it makes sense financially.
That said, despite what that ad might make you think, car insurance is a necessity. It’s not only smart to have coverage in case of an accident, but it’s also required by law. Your state will have certain guidelines for minimum liability coverage (typically around $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident), but check with your agent to find out more about whether collision or comprehensive coverage might be necessary for your situation. Also take some time to learn what types of additional coverage are available to you if you want to protect valuable assets like home or jewelry against damage or theft. You never know when bad luck will strike!