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Understanding Insurance: 3 Policies You Should Have and How to Use Them

Life is full of risks. When we lead long and prosperous lives, we are bound to run into pitfalls sooner or later. In fact, some of them are inevitable. Thankfully, there are ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones from some of the worst financial consequences of disasters, whether those things be expected or unexpected. If you want to rest easy knowing that you and your family are as protected as possible, then you’ll want to learn about these different types of insurance policies — and how to make the most of them.

Health insurance

You may get your health insurance through your job, or you may have a policy from your state exchange. Regardless, you should always have health insurance coverage. In the US, where medical debt is far and away the largest proportion of bankruptcies, you simply cannot afford to not have yourself and your family covered with a robust health insurance policy.

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However, health insurance is not just for those times when you get sick or need emergency care for an injury. The best way to use health insurance is to maximize your coverage for preventative health care. It’s a win-win situation: You’ll get superior proactive care, and your insurance company will be less likely to have to pay out lots of cash to your health care providers — because you’ll be a lot less likely to get sick!

Life insurance

Insurance is always about managing risk. Sometimes those risks are attached to inevitabilities, though. Whether we like it or not, we will someday pass away. When that happens, we’ll want to know that our families and loved ones are cared for. A life insurance policy that you pay into during your healthy years — hopefully many of them! — can be a godsend for your loved ones when you pass, especially if they are dealing with unexpected expenses or the loss of your income.

Life insurance can be used in the simple way in which it was designed, but you should know that it is also possible to draw value from your policy before your loved ones are able to file a claim. A viatical settlement can convert your expected benefits into cash now, which can be a big help with medical bills. Sometimes, and especially in cases of debts that generate interest, having cash now is worth a whole lot more than an eventual payment down the line. In those cases, viatical settlements can be crucial.

Homeowners insurance or renters insurance

No matter where you live, you should make sure that your space and the things within it are protected. Fires and other disasters can rob you of valuables at any time.

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And don’t assume that this sort of insurance is for homeowners only. Renters need renters insurance because their valuable possessions are at risk of all the same sorts of disasters that homeowners can face. Most people wildly underestimate the amount of things that they have in their homes and the total value of those objects. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out how expensive it will be to replace your valuables. Protect your things up front, and be sure to get enough coverage.

You should also explore the options and features of your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Make sure that you’re covered for everything that you think that you are, and examine your options for riders and add-on policies that will protect special valuables like engagement rings, musical instruments, and more. In many cases, you can get protection that covers these things even when they’re outside of your house or apartment!