Financial security: Insurance

Written by Briana Cavanaugh

August 17, 2009

Recently I was driving on a gravel road and hit a pothole. When I got home I found that I was leaking oil badly, so I took the car to the shop where there was more than two thousand dollars worth of damage, none of it covered by the warranty. They did, however, suggest that I call my insurance and low and behold it was covered!

One thing I rarely think about these days is my insurance. I bought coverage years ago as suggested by the academic honors group from college without thinking a lot about it (I was young and uninitiated). I also bought renter’s insurance for my apartment.

When I got the new car last year I decided to go all out and get the policy with full coverage, uninsured motorist, collision, the works – to take really good care of myself financially. It was a better choice than I realized.

What I found is that small bit of planning has saved me a lot of money. A few years ago the building had a break in and the insurance covered our loss at $1500. And this time I paid $100 for the $2200 in repairs. Useful!

This is the case of an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. The $1400 a year that I pay for insurance more than makes up for what I’ve had to claim in the past few years.

Insurance is a form of self-care. What kind and how much are something to discuss with a professional.

I watch people under-insure themselves all the time. And then I watch them struggle when something happens. It’s just painful. And unnecessary. The difference in premiums is often minimal and the sense of peace it often brings can be profound. So really consider the ramifications of that decision.

If you’ve done your budgeting work, you’ll know whether the price of the insurance is within your budget and what things you could move around if you needed to.

Making the right choice doesn’t have to be a mystery. There’s a local agent that I love, Ruth Stroup, who does amazing things. I recently watched her increase a client’s coverage on a home while simultaneous decreasing their payments because she did some consolidation. She’s done great work for my clients.

There’s also SafeCo which is who I use because they’ve done such a great job over the years.

Insurance is about increasing your financial security. If you think you don’t have what you need or you have more than you need, contact a professional and ask questions. The good ones will answer them without pressuring you and only invite you into their practice if they can help you.

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