Although some people (especially some insurance agents) will disagree, we generally don't like to think of insurance as an investment -- and perhaps you shouldn't, either.

It's true that some "investments" in insurance will appreciate in value, but the main point of insurance is protecting you against the financial consequences of losses, not serving to increase your wealth. If you're looking for long-term investments, there are many options more attractive than insurance -- chief among them stocks. If you're looking for protection against floods, car accidents, appendicitis, or death, you need insurance. (If you're looking for company on cold winter nights, you may need a cat.)

It might be attractive to consider insurance policies that have investment components, but think twice. These kinds of policies, such as whole life insurance, tend to be more expensive than their alternatives, such as term life insurance. You can often afford to protect yourself against greater losses by opting for the investment-less kinds of insurance. And with the money you save, you can invest in the stock market!

Of course, everyone's mileage is different. Learn more about insurance in our Insurance Center and make your own decisions. You may not have thought about some kinds of insurance, such as disability or long-term care insurance, but they're vital for many of us. Few people expect to ever become disabled, for example, but it happens.

You may also find the websites of many major insurance companies to be helpful. Depending on the kind of insurance you're after, taking a look at ones like American International Group, Allianz, AXA, Aetna, MetLife, Progressive, and Berkshire Hathaway may be useful.

To learn more about investing Foolishly, visit our Fool School. Or check out some of our inexpensive and well-regarded How-to Guides (which feature money-back guarantees).

Berkshire Hathaway is an Inside Value recommendation. For more information on companies with great growth opportunities, try out the newsletter free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Fool has a disclosure policy.