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 insurance that doesn't serve as an investment.

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, and usually not to those who expected it. Take a little time to learn more, and you may be very happy you did if some calamity occurs in the future.

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