Most Important Insurance To Have
The type of insurance that's most important for you depends on a number of factors. In some cases — if you're buying a car, for example — you may well not have a choice. Otherwise, the most important types of insurance you should consider include health, life, disability, auto and homeowner's insurance.
1. Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is a requirement in most places if you own a car. But assuming you meet minimum requirements, how much you buy is up to you.
Even if you're not required to have it, you should, if only just the minimum. It will cover you if you're involved in an accident with another vehicle and there's damage to that vehicle or someone is injured.
2. Health Insurance
Medical care — even a routine visit to a doctor's office — can be expensive. If you're not covered by a family or employer-sponsored health plan, you may well want to consider investing in a plan for yourself. In fact, under the Affordable Care Act, you can face a fine for not having coverage.
The best place to start to investigate your health insurance options is with HealthCare.gov, where you can learn about your options for purchasing insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.
If you're nearing age 65 – or if you're younger than 65 and receive disability benefits or have ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or kidney failure (ESRD) – you should learn more about Medicare to make sure you don't miss out on benefits you may currently or soon be eligible for.
3. Disability Insurance
You may next want to consider disability insurance, in case you're unable to work, either temporarily or permanently, due to an injury or illness. If you have certain long-term disabilities, you may be eligible for benefits through Social Security. But it may be difficult to get those benefits, or may take awhile, or you may need to supplement that coverage.
Learn more about disability insurance considerations.
4. Homeowner's Insurance
Speaking of buying a home, you're going to want to give strong consideration to getting it insured. If you're financing the home with a mortgage, it's likely your lender will require that you have insurance. Regardless, it's a good idea to have insurance on your home in case of fire, theft and more.
US News & World Report offers some good guidance on the particulars of homeowners insurance.
5. Life Insurance
At a certain point, you're going to want to put some thought into life insurance. It may be time to consider it when you get married, have children, buy a house or start a business, or if you want to supplement life insurance provided by your employer. In general, if anyone relies on you for financial support, life insurance coverage is a good idea.
Life insurance can be purchased either as a permanent policy, covering your entire lifetime, or as a term policy, covering a certain period of time — anywhere from a year to 30 years.
*Applications for insurance may be subject to acceptance by insurer. Rates and coverage amounts will depend upon the carrier selected.