September 7, 2004
It's critical to make sure you have insurance -- for your home, your health, your car, and often your life. There are other kinds of insurance that can serve you very well, too -- such as disability insurance or long-term care insurance. But you don't want to be overinsured. Don't buy insurance you don't need.
Consumer Reports magazine recently listed several kinds of insurance policies that most people don't need. Here's a recap of some of them:
- Mortgage life insurance. A cheaper way to pay off your mortgage if you pass on is through term life insurance.
- Credit card loss prevention insurance. Instead of forking over as much as $180 per year for this, bask in the knowledge that by law, your losses because of card theft are capped at $50 per card.
- Cancer insurance. For many of us, our regular health insurance plan will cover medical expenses related to cancer treatments. So don't buy this unless it's offering more than you have, at a reasonable price.
- Accidental death insurance. This costs around $600 annually, and you're extremely unlikely to die via accident. Term life insurance is a more logical investment.
- Involuntary-unemployment insurance. This is designed to make minimum payments on your credit card or auto loan debt should you become unemployed. A better bet is simply to maintain an emergency fund that can cover your living expenses for three to six months or more. Drop by our Savings Center for more guidance on how to invest such short-term money, including some special rates for Fools.
- Flight insurance. Sorry, but you're extremely likely to survive every flight you take. If you're concerned about premature death, look into term life insurance.
Here are some additional articles on insurance:
Learn more in our Insurance Center -- it's not the most exciting topic, but you can save yourself and your loved ones a lot of trouble and money by making sure you have the coverages you need. See what advice and experiences Fools are sharing on our Insurance discussion board, too -- we're offering a free trial of all our boards right now.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.