10 Types of Insurance Policies Everyone Needs
1. Introduction to Types of Insurance Policies
Insurance policies are a very important part of any modern startup’s financial and operational planning. In this post, we’re going to cover the main ones, but you should read the following posts to gain a better understanding of other types of insurance policies that are useful in the startup world.
The main types of insurance policies (aside from those mentioned here) are:
• Personal accident or health insurance, which is what most people think of first when they think about insurance. However, there are many other types of insurance that don’t involve personal loss or medical costs:
• Homeowner’s insurance – protects against damage done by strangers on your property
• Commercial general liability insurance – protects against your business being sued by another business for some type of damage caused by you. For example, if your company delivers its products to someone else’s premises and accidentally damages their property, it will be easier for them to sue you because you were involved in that transaction at some point. This is often called general liability insurance (GLI)
• Auto liability coverage – covers damage done to your car by another car or truck on public roads in your state
• Medical malpractice coverage – protects against medical malpractice lawsuits brought against doctors who perform service on someone else (eg – emergency room doctor; dentist; etc.)
*** As always, do not assume that all claims made against companies by others will be covered by their policies! *** So now let’s discuss each type of policy. Personal Accident or Health Insurance The most obvious policy is a personal accident or health insurance, which is often called an “auto” policy because it can protect you as well as your car. It usually covers things like • Accidental death & dismemberment (sometimes called “critical illness”) / permanent disability • Trauma • Financial loss due to fire/flood/earthquake • Medical expenses/hospitalization The cost of this type of coverage typically starts at $500 per person per year ($1,500 for married couples). While this might sound pricey for something that is completely unexpected and potentially life-changing (e.g., if you have been injured in an accident), consider the risk — even $100K per person per year isn’t that much if you were hit with an SUV traveling 60 mph on a busy highway with no seatbelts! Personal Liability Insurance Personal liability policies protect you from being sued as well as legal costs related.
2. Types of Insurance Policies Everyone Needs
The insurance industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s tough to get into it, but if you are in it then you need to know everything there is to know about the ins and outs of the insurance business. You need to understand what the different types of insurance are, how they can be used, how they can interact with each other, and what the different kinds of policies mean.
This post is a simple list of 10 general types of policies that everyone needs — so you can know who’s who in your insurance universe and which kind of policy fits where.
1) Homeowners Insurance
2) Auto Insurance
3) Liability Insurance
4) Business & Professional Liability
5) Workers Compensation
6) Farm & Ranch Insurance
7) Life Insurance
8) Disability Income
9) Health Insurance
10) Commuting & Transportation Insurance Note: “Auto” includes the sale of an auto car or truck; however, we do not include travel (airlines, hotels, etc.). We use “home” for home-based businesses as well as real estate. In most cases, all these policies are sold through one company, but there may be multiple companies offering them all at once.
3. Private Insurance
Insurance is one of the most valuable things you can have, but it’s also a confusing subject. A lot of people don’t know what they need, and they also don’t know how to get it. And yet it is one of the most important things you should have.
I have always found insurance to be an extremely complicated subject for beginners. The main problem seems to be that rather than focusing on the product itself and its users, people tend to get hung up on the entire process: “It’s all about being insured, aren’t we?” And that is incorrect! There is no reason why you should need multiple insurance policies unless something goes wrong with your first policy (which happens). Insurance isn’t just about paying out if something goes wrong; it’s also about protecting yourself against unexpected things like death or injury, or paying into a fund if you don’t have enough money set aside for unexpected events like illness or old age, or buying a house in case your partner dies suddenly.
4. Public Insurance
It’s not unusual for people to talk about insurance like it’s a part of their daily life. They want to be prepared, they want to understand what’s happening, and they want answers quickly when something goes wrong. There are a lot of people who don’t know what they need or don’t understand how it works, but this post will help you learn about the different types of insurance policies that might get you through any emergency – from car theft to medical bills.
#1: Homeowners Insurance Policy
While this is usually the first type of insurance that comes up, it can also be the most expensive and provides very little coverage for most things. It simply covers damage to your home or its contents if you have no one else to depend on. In most states, homeowners insurance is required by law and will generally provide coverage for both you and your family (provided there are no other special circumstances). This can include fire codes, earthquakes, floods, or other disasters (not flood damage), and also damage caused by natural causes (such as lightning strikes). Anything that can be considered a “business interruption” should also be covered – such as commercial property loss, personal injury lawsuits, or breach of your business contract. In California, an additional $500 deductible applies which means that if something costs more than $500 then you pay 100% of the total amount before any other coverage kicks in (typically $1K per person per policy) so it may not make sense for anyone with more than one person on the policy at a time (for example rent-paying tenants).
#2: Auto Insurance Policy
If you own a car or have any other vehicle that is covered under an auto insurance policy (whether it’s owned by yourself or someone else) then this may not apply to you at all – unless there is an accident involving another vehicle that results in bodily injury or property damage at least equal in value as your own vehicle. If you are insured under workers’ compensation (like workers comp) then this doesn’t apply either since that could only cover your own injuries while working at the job site. In general though, if there were injuries suffered on or near public roads then this would probably apply since most auto accidents occur on those roads after all people work them every day; however in general there isn’t much coverage here because many accidents go unreported due to fear of being sued by people who were injured in them.
5. Government Insurance
Most people don’t think about insurance policy types until they have a major disaster and are required to buy one. They are also the kinds of policies that most people have never been asked about, as they rarely make headline news.
People often put it off because it’s a hassle, but the truth is that it’s not. The most useful insurance policy is not the most expensive one — and if you know your needs and options, it can be a very easy decision. These 10 types of an insurance policy are (with some exceptions; see below) among the best for covering all kinds of disasters:
1. Flood Insurance
2. Earthquake Insurance
3. Fire Insurance
4. Liability Insurance
5. Loss Management
6. Homeowners’ Insurance
Insurance is one of the most fundamental things you can afford. It protects you and your family in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, there are all kinds of policies to choose from, and it’s easy to get lost in the confusion. Here’s just ten:
1. General Liability – your family won’t be responsible if someone isn’t insured
2. Property Damage – if you’re caught by a tree while skiing and it breaks your ski lift, that insurance will pay for repairs
3. Collision Coverage – if a totally different vehicle gets stuck in the middle of your driveway, the insurance will cover any damage to you
4. Medical Payments – for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence
5. Personal Umbrella – if a dog bites you or a cat attacks you, this policy will pay for your medical bills and repair your home
7. Pet Insurance.
We have all heard of insurance. We know it’s important. We believe it is nearly always better than not having insurance, but we don’t necessarily know much about it. So, we decided to do some reading and research into this subject in hopes that we would be able to offer some guidance.
The following are ten common types of policies for which readers might be asking:
1. Liability Insurance. This policy provides coverage for losses from the negligence or willful misconduct of another person (such as a driver or pedestrian) while driving or while on public roads, sidewalks, or other public property (like a park). The policy covers personal injury and property damage claims made due to such negligence, willful misconduct, or wrongful conduct (for example, an accidental fall).
2. Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This policy is intended to cover the employee’s wages and other compensation while performing work with respect to any injury sustained while performing the same duties as an employee at a manufacturing facility, mine, or processing plant that offers workers’ compensation benefits. The worker must provide proof of employment status in order to qualify for this type of insurance. Depending upon the employer’s policies and corresponding risks, workers’ compensation may also cover injuries sustained outside work hours as well as those incurred during work hours if deemed necessary by a physician treating the injured worker; i.e., if there is an auto crash on the way home from work — no matter what time you get home!
3. Employer Liability Insurance. This policy provides protection against any liability that may arise from one’s own negligence or wrongful acts when acting within the scope of one’s employment (for example, rape victims should probably get this coverage too!). This policy does not protect against negligent actions by an employee who has been terminated for conduct unrelated to their current job description and/or responsibilities — like being fired after misusing company funds during your last year at work!
4. Contractual Liability Insurance. This type of policy covers you if you are sued by another party because they were injured by your negligence at your place of business; even if they weren’t working there at that time! Such lawsuits can arise out of either intentional or unintentional injuries caused by your employed employees (e.g., when you fail to warn someone about a hazard before they walk into it). Also known as “conflict” coverage or “negligent hiring.”
5 & 6: Accident & Property Damage Insurance . These policies will provide protection.
8. Disability Insurance.
This is a good post for anyone thinking about perfecting their personal risk profile. It’s also a great read for anyone who isn’t into financial stuff and just wants to have fun. I recommend it even if you don’t believe in insurance or you don’t know what it is:
I was going to write a more technical post on this topic, but I didn’t want to spend too much time explaining the ins and outs of disability, especially since it can be so complex. In short, disability insurance has three main components:
1) Medical insurance — covers all medical costs associated with your illness or injury
2) Life insurance — pays out in case of death (though you can use the same life insurance policy to cover all your expenses while you are sick)
3) Disability benefits — payout in case of death (though as with life insurance, you can use the same disability policy to cover all your expenses while you are sick).
The main difference between these three is that medical insurance typically pays out on the day of an event, whereas disability benefits payout in one lump sum (which may be paid weekly or monthly). I tend to go for the medical coverage because I’m not really worried about having many social events during my illness, but if you do have lots of social events then definitely consider insuring a disability benefit instead. As usual with this kind of material: trust me when I say that everything else (including the fluff and blurb at the top) is just for show. The only thing that matters is what happens in practice.
9. Long-Term Care Insurance.
If you are still reading, I think you have to have a long-term care policy for yourself. It’s not as if your employer doesn’t provide one. They do. In fact, many, including my employer, are required by law to provide one (in fact it is a requirement in most states). So why don’t you?
This is another way of looking at the issue. While there are a number of good reasons to have a long-term care policy, which will be explained in the next post, the most common reason people don’t have one is that they don’t think they need it. If you have been following my series on the economics of long-term care insurance (which is available here), you will see that it does not make sense for someone who can afford and plan for the future to take out a long-term care policy — because even if that person has no other health issues or disabilities, their finances will likely not allow them to do so (they may live too far away from an emergency room or hospital and don’t want their family to be dependent on their ability to pay). Unfortunately, this isn’t true with everyone else.
If your sole reason for not having a long-term care policy is affordability, then it might make sense for you and your family to move closer to the state where your family can access nursing homes ( typically in rural areas) with better access and lower costs than they otherwise would be able to obtain through Medicaid/Medicare/etc., or get more funds than they otherwise would receive through an employer plan.
If however you are economically secure enough that having a long-term care policy makes sense but there are quite a few different ways in which it does not make sense for you — then the next time someone asks why you don’t have one, tell them what kind of policies everyone needs:
1. A type of health insurance policy with high deductibles and low premiums but high out-of-pocket costs:
2. A type of health insurance policy with low deductibles and low premiums but high out-of-pocket costs:
3. A type of health insurance policy that has low deductibles and high premiums:
4. An optional type of health insurance plan called “personal injury protection” that covers workers who take shifts at places like hospitals:
5) An optional type of health insurance plan called
10. Liability Insurance.
Some people say that liability insurance is the most important part of your product. While this may be true for certain types of software products, I believe it’s not the case for any product. If a person is injured due to a defect in your software, and you then place your product into the hands of an inexperienced user and negligently fail to warn them about said defect, then you can be held liable for that person’s injuries.
The fact remains: liability insurance is reaching critical mass in the tech world; it’s just not a unique product to the software world. Liability insurance is necessary for all kinds of businesses: device manufacturers need it, so do software developers; e-commerce companies need it (if they don’t already have it), so do hardware startups; retail companies need it too; web hosts need it (the point of having a hosted service); hosting providers need it (not just “as an extra service”); banks need it if they are providing accounts; law firms need it if they are doing legal work; retailers (shops) need it if they are selling products…
This doesn’t mean we should discount the importance of liability insurance — in fact, we should probably look at our own portfolio and find out how many cases we have taken on as clients. But I think that very few people would agree with me that liability insurance is THE most important part of their product.
11. Auto Insurance
There are a lot of auto insurance policies available to you right now. You can buy a generic, cheap policy that is designed to satisfy the needs of most people. Or you can buy a high-end and better-than-the-average policy that will ensure your own financial security in the event of an accident. If you’re like me, you’ll be drawn to one or the other and end up with both.
Auto insurance is not about getting more protection for yourself but about setting up your family for the possibility of something bad happening to them. And it’s a big responsibility — especially if there’s nobody around to keep track of things for you (I have been known to forget car maintenance on the way home from work).
As with any other form of insurance, auto insurance policies tend to be expensive; so if there is some risk involved, it is usually best to buy top quality coverage rather than cheap deals. (This is also why many people think “cheap insurance” means “purchase only when renter’s permit expires or when I get hit by a bus”.) But as we all know, life isn’t always what it seems…
No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. Even if they don’t affect your life directly, they can affect your family financially — and those costs can be catastrophic in their own right (like medical bills or lost wages). So it makes sense that we need insurance for our families as well as ourselves…
The types of auto insurance I cover today fall into two categories: liability and collision coverage. It would be nice if someone could just tell me which category my car falls into, but unfortunately, that isn’t possible in Canada (although most states have laws making it easier to do so). So here are 10 types of auto insurance policies everyone needs:
1) Comprehensive Coverage – this covers the collision damage only, not liability damages (unless someone gets hurt); and typically requires higher deductible amounts than other policies, but provides more coverage than most other forms of liability coverage (e.g., uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist)
2) Collision & Theft Damage Only – this covers only damage caused by physical force such as an impact or collision; no liability is covered at all; and typically requires lower deductible amounts than other forms of collision coverage (e.g., uninsured motorist/underinsured motor
12. Life Insurance
Insurance is a necessary evil. We are all in the same boat, so whether it’s car insurance, house insurance, or any other of the myriad of choices we have to make for ourselves and our loved ones at some point, we should all be able to plan for disasters.
If you can’t afford it, but you know you need it, your best bet is to get a policy with an umbrella or supplemental coverage. This is a good way to minimize the amount of money that has to be spent on a catastrophic loss despite having less than ideal coverage. It also provides peace of mind as well as reduces the number of times you have to go out and ask for money from your friends and family.
But sometimes life can go awry — sometimes there will be a really big event where everything lines up perfectly and no one can save you — and that’s when life insurance becomes very important. Life Insurance is about protecting yourself from the worst-case scenario: things like natural disasters or cancer that don’t necessarily happen; things like pre-existing conditions (or lack thereof) that may not manifest themselves until adulthood; things like old age without adequate income or resources (e.g., because of a debilitating illness); things like disability insurance (which we already listed above).
So what do I mean? I could talk about different types of life insurance policies here but this post is already long enough:
• Assurance Companies – They provide basic coverage with no premiums
• Direct Life Insurance – This covers your assets up to $100,000 when you turn old age into cash (if you die before age 67)
• Short Term Disability Insurance – This covers your assets up to $100,000 until you are disabled by accident or illness
• Long Term Disability Insurance – This covers your assets up to $1 million if you are disabled by accident or illness (before age 67)
• Long Term Care Insurance – This covers your assets beyond $1 million in case there isn’t enough income from wages/finance/etc., so long as there are no assets left over after paying for those needs (i.e. if death costs more than $1 million). It works both ways — if something happens to me, my wife receives the full benefit if she were in my position. For our purposes here though it’s worth noting that these policies don’t cover each other; they work separately; they
13. Health Insurance
There are many different kinds of health insurance. Here’s a look at 10 of the most common, from least to most expensive.
Most people do not realize that they need health insurance in the first place. Once you start getting sick or injured, you may think that you can barely afford any medical bills, but without health insurance, your healthcare premiums will pile up for years and years… and that is exactly what is happening to people who don’t have health insurance.
What you really need is good health insurance — and if that sounds too expensive right now, it’s because, despite the rising costs of healthcare in today’s economy, very few Americans actually understand what it takes to cover them in case something happens.
The truth is that everyone needs good health insurance… until they can no longer afford it. And even then, your best bet is probably a government-run program – because these programs often offer less customer service and coverage than private insurers do… so it’s best just to get yourself covered through an employer or through Medicare or Medicaid.
1) Short Term Health Insurance – this kind of coverage comes with a high-premium (sometimes even a deductible) and will only be there for a limited period of time during which you may need to use medical care (like your doctor or hospital). This kind of coverage also typically doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions; this means that if you get sick and have been taking care of yourself for some time before your accident/illness (like with exercise), then you could lose coverage because whatever injury/condition has been keeping you out of work for so long has become something else now. This kind of coverage does not protect against accidents with another car (which would be catastrophic), but usually covers major life events like pregnancy or illness/injury with other family members (like a life-threatening accident involving someone else).
2) Short Term Worker’s Compensation – this kind of plan protects against injuries incurred while working on the job (on an employer’s property), on company property (or yard work outside the workplace), on company vehicles or equipment, at sales sites, etc… Basically, if someone gets hurt at work while doing something they are trained to do (like moving boxes around in your warehouse), then his employer can sue him for money if he doesn’t make up all the money he owes from his previous job once he starts working there again.
14. Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is a very important form of insurance for everyone, from the one person who has to deal with a chronic, expensive illness (e.g., diabetes) to the family who needs long-term care for someone with a terminal illness (e.g., cancer). However, it can be difficult and confusing to find out all the information you need when it comes to disability insurance; that’s why we have taken the time to distill down a list of some basic questions you should ask:
1. What are my out-of-pocket expenses? This includes your monthly premiums, as well as any other costs you may incur — such as transportation or lodging — that are required by the plan that you choose. For example, if you take an apartment in Manhattan and pay $1,000 per month in rent but only have $300 in expenses each month, then your out-of-pocket expenses will be less than $200 per month.
2. Is there a deductible? If yes, how does this affect my premiums? If not, how does this affect my premiums?
3. How much is my deductible if I am under 26 years old? For example, if I am 22 years old but want to take out disability insurance because I have high medical bills and can’t afford an apartment in New York City without paying more than $150 per month in rent, then what percentage of the cost of my apartment do I need to pay for? Do I need to pay more than half of it ($75 per month)? If so, what percentage of it? In other words: What is there left over after all these things are accounted for?
4. How much do I need each year to maintain coverage at full scope? This will depend on whether or not you get sick (or worse) every year and whether your coverage lapses and covers only during times when no one needs care (such as during school vacations). Or perhaps you don’t need coverage at all but would like some flexibility over what time periods coverage lapses: Perhaps once a week or twice a week instead of every day; perhaps three months instead of six months; etc.
5. How much does my insurer cover for health-related expenses including prescriptions and referrals from doctors or hospitals? What about dental work (i.e., fillings)? 6. What happens if I become disabled before age
15. Long-term Care Insurance
I’ve been working on this post for a while and I’ve been thinking about some of the points. If you want to read through it but don’t want to do the math, here is a table that sums up the 10 types of insurance policies everyone needs (the most common are what people think they need):
See if you can identify any of these and figure out how much you typically spend on them each year.
These are generally pretty standard: $0, $5, $10, $25, $50, etc.
You will notice that there are 5 different underlying concepts being discussed: cost per claim; the amount of premium; cost per month; total premium; and cost per unit (i.e., cost per claim). The claim is not necessarily the most important thing in your insurance coverage. For example, if you get into an accident where someone hits you with their car and you sue them for $12m ($12m divided by 12 = $0.75), it would be much less likely that you would get hit again by someone else because your insurance policy would cover all your medical expenses for the next 12 years in case you got hit again. In fact, some policies actually require people to sue in order to get insurance coverage (because of something called “denial of coverage”).
16. Income Protection/Disability Insurance (Short-term)
The business of insurance has been around for centuries, but we are only now starting to see a mature, mainstream conversation about it. The business of insurance is not widely understood (and rightly so) and there is a lot of misunderstanding from the public in general on what insurance protection really is.
Before you read this post you should understand that the main purpose of this post is to help you understand the key terms behind this business. We all have needs — emotional, psychological and financial — that no one else can satisfy. This post aims to help you identify those needs and figure out how to satisfy them with a range of different providers or through your own work in partnership with another person or entity (i.e., partner-based plans).
There are many types of insurance policies available today. Your needs may differ from ours, but here are just a few:
1) Short-term disability/disability insurance: This covers temporary expenses like injuries, illness and other short-term incidents that prevent you from working in your job for more than 3 months at a time, usually lasting less than 90 days (so typically shorter than 6 months for an employee).
2) Long-term disability/disability insurance: This covers expenses related to long-term illnesses or injuries that keep you from working for more than 3 years at a time (so typically longer than 6 years).
3) Personal injury protection: This covers long-term medical expenses after an accident or other damage to your body. It also covers costs related to health problems that are not covered by short-term disability and long-term disability policies.
4) Workers’ compensation: This covers long-term medical expenses after an accident or other damage to your body and allows workers who suffer workplace injuries (including those who can’t work because of age or injury), regardless of cause, to receive compensation when they cannot work due to their injury. It’s also called “total compensation” because it includes all forms of income support such as unemployment benefits, food stamps and welfare payments — but note that there can be very big differences between short-term disability policies and workers’ compensation plans; if both cover similar things they may have similar premiums but different benefits.
5) Housing & home purchase life insurance: These cover just about any form of property damage including home fires or accidents — typically if the house burns down there will be enough money saved up by the policyholder “in case something
17. Personal Umbrella or Ex
We all want to be insured: it’s a basic, fundamental need. And like almost everything else in life, we are forced to choose between two extremes: full coverage and zero coverage. With the former, you have to pay out the roof if something happens. On the other hand, with zero coverage you don’t have to worry about anything at all. But not everyone needs both extremes.
If you are going to run your own business or get married in Bermuda, then you definitely need full coverage insurance (for yourself and all your co-workers). If you’re on a team where everyone is going to be sick at some point during the year, then you also need full coverage insurance (to cover yourself and your barista). And if any of your team is going to die, then it’s best if they don’t go without insurance (and by “they” I mean “you”).
On the other hand…
If one of your co-workers is getting married and doesn’t want anyone else in their family covered under their policy but does want another person covered for his/her experience and qualifications as a wedding planner — well that person probably doesn’t need full coverage insurance for his/her own wedding as well. So he/she can get away with zero coverage insurance for that specific purpose.
In this post from my personal blog I try to answer two questions: how do people decide how much they need compared with how much they should get — and what the good trade-offs are between different policies?