The insurance industry traces its history to the ancient world, where merchants divided their goods among different ships to reduce risk. In the modern world, insurance has grown deeper and wider to cover even outrageous risks such as alien abduction. Insurance coverage is a vital financial product that protects policyholders from certain risks, such as disease. Discover nine types of insurance and what they cover.
1. Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowners’ coverage is one of the most common types of insurance. It is a property insurance that provides a homeowner with financial protection within the limits of their policy. A homeowner enters into a contractual agreement with the insurance company to cover specified risks. Mortgage lenders often require you to have a home insurance policy before giving you financial support. Homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover all types of perils, so you may have to get other standalone policies to cover some risks.
Homeowners insurance covers the dwelling, which is the physical structure of your home, including the foundation, roof, and built-in systems such as plumbing. It covers perils such as theft, vandalism, and specific natural disasters. Your policy may pay for water damage services and any other professional intervention you need after a damaging event. It also covers personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, and electronics. You may need to pay for a different policy to cover high-end jewelry and pieces of art.
The homeowner’s insurance covers personal liability in case someone is injured on your property or by you and your family members. A special coverage homeowner’s insurance offers is additional living expenses (ALE). If a covered event such as a fire or storm makes your home uninhabitable, your policy may cover temporary living costs. Ensure you research the company well before settling on one.
2. Dental Insurance
Dental insurance is one of the most popular types of insurance in the health industry. It specifically covers dental care and treatments, which helps individuals and families manage oral health expenses such as check-ups, cleanings, and, in some cases, Invisalign braces. Insurance companies offer different products to cater to various clients. For instance, dental HMO is a subcategory of dental insurance in which you choose a primary care dentist for lower premiums. On the other hand, dental PPO offers a wider network of dentists, but this flexibility comes with higher premiums.
In most cases, dental insurance covers the full cost or has minimal copayments for preventative services. The second tier of coverage is basic services such as fillings, extractions, and minimal dental procedures, with coverage ranging from 70% to 80%. The third tier covers advanced restorative dentistry procedures such as root canals, crowns, and bridges. Some plans may also have coverage for orthodontic treatment but may have restrictions such as lifetime maximums.
When looking for a good dental insurance policy, ensure that it covers the dental care you and your family need, such as the specific treatment you anticipate requiring. If you want more flexibility, look for a plan with a broader network, but you can maximize benefits if your preferred dentist is in-network. Of course, you should also consider the costs from deductibles to copayments. Try to balance monthly costs with potential out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Health Insurance
According to Forbes, it is estimated that 70% of the population is covered by public or private voluntary insurance. While this is far from ideal, it shows how vital health insurance is for anyone, from young children to senior adults. Many people do not seek the medical attention they need because they lack health insurance. Over time, their illnesses get worse and cost more to treat. Insurance can prove helpful to families, especially when medical costs are high.
Like dental insurance covers general dental services fully or with minimal copayments, so does health insurance. You can access preventative services such as vaccinations, screenings, and annual check-ups. Another category under health insurance is hospitalization, in which coverage includes hospital stays, surgeries, and emergency room visits. With the rise of mental health awareness, health insurance is increasingly broadening to cover mental health services and substance abuse treatment.
Health insurance is one of the types of insurance you should have, even with a low income. A good health policy should cover the medical services your family needs. Choosing in-network care is best because it’s more cost-effective, especially if you can access your preferred healthcare providers. If you take medication regularly, go for a policy with prescription drug coverage.
4. Flood Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance may not cover all types of perils caused by natural events such as flooding. That’s why providers offer flood insurance, especially in places prone to flooding. If homeowners were to cover flooding, the premiums would go high and thus become unaffordable for many. That’s because flooding causes massive damage, which would require insurance providers to pay higher amounts.
Flood insurance covers damage from flooding to home structures such as the foundation, walls, roof, and built-in systems. For instance, it may cover the cost of calling plumbing companies after massive damage to the plumbing fixtures. It may also cover damage to personal property such as furniture, clothing, and electronics. Like homeowners insurance, flood insurance covers additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable because of flood damage.
Flooding coverage is one of the types of insurance you should purchase if you live in a flood-prone area. However, it must cover replacement and repair costs in your home. Check with your insurance provider to evaluate their limits for building and contents. For example, some policies don’t cover damage caused by sewer backup. Consider getting an elevation certificate, which helps determine accurate premium rates.
5. Disability Insurance
The types of insurance have evolved to include disability. Despite the name, disability insurance is not necessarily for people with a disability. Instead, it offers financial protection if the policyholder can’t work and earn an income because of a disability. For example, if an accident results in chronic pain, the policyholder may get compensation because they are unable to work.
While disability insurance may not cover auto brake repair after an accident, it will cover a portion of your lost income. The coverage will vary from the occupation you engage in, so it’s critical to review the policies before acquiring one. Please consider how the policy defines disability because it will determine compensation. Also, check the percentage of your income covered by the policy, which is typically 60% to 70%.
You can get disability insurance through the Social Security System. To qualify, you must prove that the disability is so severe you can’t continue in the same line of work. You also have to prove that the disability will likely last at least 12 months. You can also get coverage through private plans. Disability insurance is vital, especially if you depend on your income to cover daily living expenses.
6. Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is one of the types of insurance policies for individuals and families who rent a home or apartment. It provides coverage for personal property and liability claims in case of covered events such as theft and fire. For instance, if a fire started in your apartment kitchen, renters’ insurance could cover the cost of fire damage restoration services. Like umbrella insurance, renters insurance is a standalone policy but can include property, liability, and additional living expenses coverage.
The primary component of renters insurance is personal property such as furniture, electronics, clothing, and valuables. The renter’s insurance covers personal belongings from fire, vandalism, and theft. Renters insurance also covers liability to protect you if someone is injured in your rental unit. For instance, if someone got injured by a falling object in your apartment, renters insurance could cover medical and legal fees. The insurance may also cover additional living expenses if your rental unit becomes uninhabitable because of a covered event.
When shopping for a renter’s insurance, check the coverage limits to ensure they are sufficient to protect your assets and financial well-being. You may require additional coverage if you have high-value items like jewelry because standard renter insurance policies don’t cover luxurious items. Before taking a policy, understand the policy’s exclusion and limitations, such as natural events, so you’re prepared emotionally and financially. It’s advisable to ask for quotes from different providers to compare cost and value.
7. Umbrella Insurance
One of the least-known types of insurance is personal umbrella insurance. It’s a type of liability insurance that offers additional coverage beyond the limit of your current home and auto insurance. In short, it’s an extra layer of protection that safeguards you if you face a costly lawsuit. Thus, umbrella insurance is a standalone policy that works in conjunction with other insurance policies. It can cover car body repair, property damage, slander, and personal liability claims if you cause damage to others.
In essence, umbrella insurance protects you from claims because of your fault in causing damage or harm to others. It provides coverage for legal defense costs associated with these covered claims. It’s important to note that umbrella insurance doesn’t cover damage you sustain on your body or property. Instead, it protects your assets and financial well-being if you are found liable for causing others harm.
To get a good umbrella insurance policy, consider the coverage you’ll need. The policies offer coverage in increments, for instance, $100,000, $200,000 or more. An umbrella policy often requires a certain minimum coverage on your primary policies for proper coordination. For the level of protection it offers, umbrella insurance is quite cost-effective. However, it’s essential to get quotes from multiple providers to assess the relative cost.
8. Auto Insurance
Among the many types of insurance, auto insurance stands out because it’s mandatory in many states. According to Policy Genius, insurers took $238.4 billion in auto insurance premiums. Car insurance offers coverage to motor vehicle owners in case of perils such as theft, vandalism, and accidents. For instance, if a malicious person breaks your car’s glass, insurance will cover part or full auto glass repairs.
Motor insurance varies in coverage depending on which type you pick and for what coverage. Liability insurance covers personal injury and property damage if you’re involved in an accident. On the other hand, collision insurance covers repair to your vehicle when it’s damaged in an accident, even if you’re at fault. You can also get uninsured motorist coverage if you’re involved in an accident and have little or no insurance.
If you go for comprehensive insurance, ensure it has sufficient coverage for liability and collision. Since some insurance types are optional, you can add them to get more value from your insurance. Also, enquire about discounts for factors such as safe driving, having multiple vehicles, and bundling with other insurance policies. Ultimately, having an insurance policy is more than ticking the right boxes; it’s also about the provider and the ease of their claim process.
9. Business Insurance
Apart from homeowners, business owners also get insurance to get coverage for different perils associated with doing business. Depending on their needs, business owners can get different types of insurance. One of them is property insurance, which covers damage to your property and the costs of roofing services and other professional interventions. General liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury and property damage from business operations.
Thus, business insurance covers multiple aspects depending on the business need, but most fall under premise liability, property protection, medical expenses, and legal fees. Check with the provider to understand policy limits to know if the policy will be enough for your business operations. Review the deductibles and choose amounts consistent with your budget and risk tolerance. Considering what’s at stake with your business, it’s also recommendable to get professional advice.
To bring it all together, having insurance is one of the best ways to protect you, your loved ones, and your property from unexpected perils. Understanding the types of insurance available and what they cover is vital for choosing well. For instance, if you live in a flood-prone area, a homeowners insurance policy may not be right. It’s best to talk with a professional in the insurance industry to understand which coverage is best for you.