The world of insurance is confusing and chock full of professional jargon. It’s hard to know what it all means, leave alone what kind of coverage you need. But we’ve got you covered with the ultimate insurance cheatsheet.
All states require you to have some kind of auto insurance, so if you drive, this is definitely something you’ll have to get your head around. By law, you’re required to have liability auto insurance — this will cover you if you are at fault in an accident.
It covers the other driver’s property and any injuries they may have suffered. You can purchase different kinds of vehicle insurance, though, that cover you against more than this. For example, better collision coverage for you and your car, or adding a new driver to a policy.
The world of commercial insurance is vast and covers many things.
If you run any kind of business, even a tiny, freelance situation, you’re going to need to consider some form of business insurance. At the least, you’ll want something to cover you in the event someone takes a lawsuit out against you, and you have to pay legal fees. If you work around other people, or on their property, you will need to be covered against injury or damage.
If you’re not driving a car, and instead you’re riding a motorcycle, this is the insurance you want.
If you want to travel the world on your motorbike, you can get international motorcycle insurance, which may be mandatory in certain countries. You definitely want to do your research with this one.
Your home is one of the most valuable (and expensive) things you own.
It also has a high sentimental value and is fundamental to your survival. If anything happened to it, you need to be sure your insurance will cover you. Proper homeowners’ insurance should cover for break-ins and theft, hurricanes, and tornadoes (depending on where you live), flooding, and fire.
You can also tot up the value of all your furniture, appliances and other valuables and take out insurance for the contents of your home.
Agricultural fire insurance
Most people don’t think about it, but farmers and other rural commercial producers need a lot of insurance coverage. There are losses due to weather, fire, and “acts of God”, all of which can wreak havoc on a small producer’s profits.
You can still get insurance, even if you don’t own your home.
You are still able to protect its contents, which can really help if you lose everything in a fire. Renters insurance will cover you against damage caused to your property by the building or a fault with something you don’t own, like the boiler or a radiator.
You can also claim back some expenses through your renter’s insurance with some providers, for example, if you had to pay an emergency plumber because of a fault in your building’s plumbing.
This is what you need if you are a Lyft or Uber driver.
Make sure you understand what your auto insurance will cover you for, and ensure you aren’t paying twice for the same thing. You also need to make sure you’re covered for anything your regular auto insurance won’t cover, which is where rider-share insurance comes in. It’s also worth checking what Lyft or Uber themselves will cover you for.
If you have a cat, dog, or even an iguana, the best way of making sure their vet bills are paid is by taking out insurance policies for them.
It also covers the theft of an expensive breed and will provide compensation if they are killed. Some pet insurance policies will cover the cost of cremation if the worst happens.
Be careful with pet insurance policies, though, as some of them have a limit as to how much they’ll cover you for, or how much you have to spend before they pay out.
Health Insurance and Dental Insurance
Health insurance is a significant type of insurance that a lot of people have. Some people have access to health insurance through their work, others take out their own insurance policies. Health insurance covers medical bills and medications you may need.
It can also include things like the care you need throughout pregnancy and childbirth, or the cost of insulin if you’re diabetic. Dental insurance works similarly, and it is another benefit some employers offer.
Essential if you’re worried about your family’s income in the event of your death. Life insurance will pay a named beneficiary if you die. Some policies will also cover the cost of your funeral.
There are even more types of insurance out there, but these are the main ones you need to know about. Keep the Ultimate Insurance Cheatsheet handy, and go and wrangle those policies!