Even with insurance policies to cover your home, cars, health and life, you might be lacking important coverage. Consider adding these five policies to
your insurance portfolio.
1. SCHEDULED PERSONAL PROPERTY
INSURANCE. Added as a floater to your home-owners insurance, this policy covers expensive
items such as jewelry and artwork not covered by
most standard policies.
“Even if a policy has $100,000 contents
coverage, jewelry coverage might be limited
to $2,000,” explains Jim Whittle, chief claims
counsel for the American Insurance Association.
Before issuing a policy, most insurance agents
require a professional appraisal.
2. FLOOD INSURANCE. Most residential
policies do not cover flood damage, according
to Whittle. “If you’ve ever tried rebuilding without [flood insurance], you understand pretty
quickly that it’s worth the investment,” he says.
Not sure if you need flood insurance? Contact
your insurance agent, who can provide a risk
profile based on your address. The average policy
costs $50 per month.
3. PET INSURANCE. Even the best health
insurance doesn’t cover treatment and medica-
tion for four-legged family members. Enter pet
policies. “Pet insurance is a good idea for most
pet owners,” says veterinarian Emily Pointer, staff
internist and medical coordinator at the ASPCA’s
Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York.
“But it’s important to do some research and read
the fine print before buying a policy.”
Premiums range from $10 per month for acci-
dent insurance to $90 per month for comprehen-
sive coverage, which may not cover preexisting
conditions or chronic illnesses.
4. BURIAL INSURANCE. Available to those who
are starting to think about their estate plans, these
niche policies provide payouts ranging from $2,500
to $10,000. “It’s like a term life insurance policy
with the intent that the money will go towards the
costs of a funeral,” says Sally Hurme, senior project
manager for AARP Education & Outreach.
Policies are available through insurance brokers and funeral directors and are aimed at those
between 40 and 85 years of age. Hurme notes that
lifetime premiums might add up to more than
actual funeral costs, so it’s important to crunch
the numbers before purchasing burial insurance.
5. CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE. Fewer
than 1 million Americans carry these policies,
which provide tax-free, lump-sum payouts upon
diagnosis of critical illnesses such as cancer,
stroke or heart attack. “It’s important coverage,
but too few people know it exists,” says Jesse
Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance.
Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $500,000.
Lump-sum payouts are made upon diagnosis
to help cover medical and living expenses. A
$20,000 policy for a 40-year-old man starts at
$310 per year.—Jodi Helmer