Insurance is frustrating. While it can surely come in handy in a pinch, it’s hard not to look at the money you spend on a given policy and feel you’ve wasted it if you don’t need to make a claim. Look no further than the famed Chris Rock bit where he refers to insurance as “in case s***” — “If s*** don’t happen, shouldn’t I get my money back?”
Given this popular (and understandable) perspective, you may be avoiding a few different types of insurance. Unfortunately that path can be a financial disaster waiting to happen. That’s why I thought I’d highlight a few different types of insurance that are actually worth spending your money on.
Auto-Insurance and AAA
Whenever you see someone get pulled over in a movie or on a TV show, the officer will likely ask the driver for their license and registration. However, in many states, what they’ll actually request is your license, registration, and proof of insurance. That’s because several states have minimum insurance requirements for drivers that ensure they’ll be able to pay for any injuries or damages they’re responsible for. Similarly some lienholders may require you to have certain coverages as part of your loan terms.
Beyond these legal necessities, auto insurance is a must for any driver. After an accident, the costs you might need to cover just to get your vehicle back in working order can be astronomical. Moreover, as mentioned, you may also be on the hook for repairs to the other driver’s car or property if the accident is deemed your fault. For these reasons and many more, auto insurance is absolutely worth the price you pay for it.
On top of regular auto insurance, you might also consider obtaining a AAA membership. Incidentally, AAA is what gave me the idea for this article in the first place thanks to what happened to me on my road trip last weekend. While passing through Georgia, we got a flat tire and were forced to pull over. Since I know practically nothing about cars, I was thankful for my AAA membership as I was able to call someone out to help me change the tire. Moreover, since we decided it was best to stay the night and get the tire replaced instead of trying to drive 12 hours on a donut, we likely could have used our AAA card to get a discount at a nearby hotel. In this case I ended up just booking on Hotwire.com, but believe me when I tell you I’ve definitely covered my AAA membership fee in various discounts alone. For that reason plus the peace of mind it provides me while traveling, I’d definitely recommend that any driver join.
When I was employed full time, I was fortunate enough to have a health insurance option available through work. The thing is that, during the decade I retained this coverage, I only recall ever using it once. Therefore, when I left that job and it was up to me to find my own insurance, I opted not pay for health insurance after I saw the pricing options. Luckily for me, this gamble didn’t result in financial ruin from an unexpected illness but it did cause me a lot of worry on a day to day basis.
Fast forward to today and I am once again insured. After a few years of having insurance through my wife’s work, we took to the healthcare marketplace earlier this year when she became self-employed. While premiums can still run high and deductibles can seem insane, health insurance is a smart financial investment overall. Plus, although it’s still not 100% clear how much the rule is being enforced by the Trump administration, the Affordable Care Act does impose penalties for non-insured individuals. Because of this it’s probably a better idea to find a plan that works for you and have at least some level of health insurance.
Renters Insurance and Homeowners Insurance
Before moving to Springfield, I had never even considered renters insurance. Although I had heard of it, I didn’t really understand what it was and also assumed that, like auto and health insurance, it would be expensive with little payoff. As it turns out, I was wrong on both counts.
To my surprise, renters insurance is actually quite affordable and covers a lot. For example, in addition to protecting your possessions from natural disasters in your home, most policies also cover damaged or stolen items even if they weren’t in your home at the time. In other words, you’re not just insuring your place — you’re covering your stuff.
As for homeowners, there’s the aptly named homeowners insurance. Since I have yet to purchase a house of my own, I’m not nearly as well-versed in what these policies offer but you can bet they’re just as important. The moral of the story is, whether you’re a renter or an owner, it probably makes sense to carry coverage just in case.
Spending money on insurance is never fun but it’s a lot better than the alternative. So whether you maintain an insurance policy because it’s the law or it’s just a good idea, auto, health, renters, and homeowners insurance can be well worth the money you pay for them.