15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need


Most people are familiar with the most common kinds of insurance — home, auto, life, and health insurance. But there are many additional insurance policies available for things that are probably not covered by your everyday basic policies. Depending on your risk exposure, additional insurance coverage could be worth the cost. (See also: 10 Weird Types of Insurance You Didn't Even Know About)

Here are some less well known kinds of insurance you might want to consider.

1. Pet insurance

This is basically health insurance for pets. A pet insurance policy can limit your expenses if your pet gets injured or sick and requires a costly medical procedure. If you would spend almost anything to save your fur baby, this can be worth getting so you don't have to worry about devastating veterinary bills. The cost of pet insurance ranges from about $10 to $70 per month, depending on the type of pet and the level of coverage. (See also: 7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance)

2. Earthquake insurance

Even though there is not much risk of a big quake here in Iowa, I once added earthquake coverage to my homeowners policy. At the time I lived in an old, two-story farmhouse that I thought would be susceptible to an earthquake, and the cost of coverage was only a few dollars per year. It was well worth it for the peace of mind.

3. Flood insurance

Damage to your home by flooding is not typically covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. If there has been a history of flooding on your property or nearby homes, you will want to take a look at getting flood insurance. The average cost of flood insurance is around $700 per year, but it can depend on the location and risk of flooding. (See also: Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance)

4. Disability insurance

Disability insurance protects your paycheck in case you become incapacitated or disabled and are unable to work. Short-term disability insurance typically replaces about 80 percent of your income for two to six months. Long-term disability coverage may last for years or even your entire life, and typically covers up to 60 percent of your income. Disability insurance is especially important if you have a single earner in your household, or if one earner makes most of the income. (See also: 4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance)

5. Long-term care insurance

If you become unable to take care of yourself later in life, you may need assisted living services or to move into a nursing home; both of which can be astronomically expensive. Long-term care insurance helps cover these expenses and is offered as a traditional insurance policy or as a hybrid policy that combines life insurance and long-term care insurance. Note that these policies can be expensive, costing up to $2,000 per year — sometimes more. (See also: Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?)

6. Supplemental health insurance

In case of illness or injury, supplemental health insurance may cover deductibles and co-payments that are not covered by other forms of insurance. It may even provide a cash payment to cover expenses such as utility bills, housing payments, and groceries while you are not working. Plans typically cost up to $30 per month.

7. Identity theft insurance

If you are a victim of identity theft, this insurance policy will cover the expenses of restoring your identity, including application fees, postage, notary fees, and attorney fees. Some policies also provide fraud loss coverage in case funds are stolen from your account. Coverage costs between $25 and $50 per year.

8. Student loan insurance

Unlike most other types of debt, student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy if you become disabled and are unable to make the payments. Some disability insurance providers offer student loan protection that can be added onto a disability policy that will make your student loan payments. This type of coverage is especially popular for medical school graduates and others with large student loans.

9. Wedding insurance

A lot of the expensive things that can go wrong with a wedding are covered by wedding insurance. The wedding may need to be postponed due to illness or injury. The wedding dress, rings, and even the cake can be lost or damaged. Depending on coverage, wedding insurance typically costs a few hundred dollars and may be worth considering if you are planning an elaborate event for the big day. You can also get liability coverage to protect you in case an accident happens at the wedding.

10. Travel insurance

Travel insurance comes in two main varieties: trip cancellation insurance and medical travel insurance. Trip cancellation insurance typically runs about 5 to 7 percent of the trip cost and protects you from losses in case your trip is canceled due to sudden illness or natural disaster. Some credit cards offer travel protection, so check with your card provider before taking out a separate policy. Medical travel insurance covers medical expenses if you are sick or injured in a foreign country, where your standard health insurance policy may not help you. (See also: Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance)

11. Dorm insurance

Dorm insurance covers expensive items that you might take with you to college, such as a computer. It typically has a very low deductible (around $25), which makes it easier to get a payout if you suffer a loss. A $5,000 policy may have a premium of around $140 a year, according to Consumer Reports. But your homeowners insurance policy may already provide some coverage for students living in dormitories, so check before you sign up.

12. Renter's insurance

Even if you don't own a home, you may still want insurance coverage for possessions such as your clothes, furniture, and electronics in case of theft or damage. In fact, many landlords require you have this kind of insurance. Depending on the coverage, policies start at around $12 per month. (See also: 5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters' Insurance)

13. Antiques insurance

If you have a valuable collection of antiques, coins, stamps, fine wine, or anything else out of the ordinary, you might want to consider getting your collection appraised and getting insurance coverage to replace it in case of damage, theft, or destruction. Standard homeowners insurance policies have limited coverage for special items, so adding a rider or separate policy may make sense. Premiums can vary widely depending on the appraised value of your items.

14. Longevity insurance

One of the big variables in retirement planning is estimating your life span. Living for a long time increases the amount of funds you'll need in retirement. If you are worried about outliving your retirement savings, you can get longevity insurance, a type of deferred annuity, that starts paying out once you hit a certain age, such as 85. An important thing to note is longevity insurance is "use it or lose it" — if you die before collecting your benefit, the money is lost.

15. Mortgage protection insurance

Mortgage protection insurance pays off your mortgage in the event of your death, and covers your loan payments if you become disabled or lose your job. If you have life insurance and disability insurance, you may already be covered for this risk. Mortgage protection insurance can be a good option if you are in a high risk occupation and cannot easily get disability insurance. Premium costs vary but are typically several hundred dollars per year.

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