We get bombarded with solicitations to buy different type of insurance. It can get confusing and expensive. Often times, we do not know what kind of insurance that we really need. There is a lot of insurance to choose from. The following 4 types of insurance coverage are essential for your protection and security:
HEALTH INSURANCE – Recent enactments of the law require that we carry health insurance. Putting aside the political issues surrounding health insurance, it is a good thing. Medical and hospital charges are typically way more than we can afford to pay out of pocket. Whether you get your health insurance privately, through work, or through the government, quality protection for our health and well being should be apriority. There are many quality insurance brokers who can help you select a plan that best serves your needs.
AUTO INSURANCE – In California, it is hard to get around without a vehicle and most of us own one. The law requires that we carry at a minimum a basic liability policy of $15,000/$30,000. This policy protects you up to these sums if you cause an accident that results in injury. If you want to make sure that your vehicle’s damage is covered, you will need to obtain comprehensive and collision coverage at an additional premium. You may also want to purchase medical payment coverage to pay for hospital or medical bills for you and /or the occupants of your vehicle should you be in an accident that results in injury. Other types of insurance coverage are also available such as uninsured motorist coverage which protects you in an accident that is not your fault and involves another vehicle which does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance.
Be aware that California is not a “No Fault State” and the application of one’s insurance is dependent upon who is at fault for the accident. California is a comparative liability state and fault and insurance coverage will be apportioned dependent upon the degree of fault on the part of the parties involved in the accident.
Also be aware that failure to carry automobile insurance can result in your driver’s license being suspended for at least 6 months, a fine of $1,500.00, and if you are in an accident, even if it is not your fault, you will only be able to recover your reasonable economic loss, but cannot receive compensation for such things as pain and suffering , emotional distress or hardship on your day to day living.
HOMEOWNERS or RENTER’S INSURANCE – Whether you own or rent your home, you belongings need to be protected against theft, vandalism, fire or natural disaster. If you own your home, you want to make sure that the structure and property are also covered against loss. If you have a mortgage, this type of coverage will be required by the lender. Some lenders also want you to carry additional earthquake and/or flood protection.
If you own a condo or townhouse, the HOA insurance covers the structure and the common areas, but not your belongings, so make sure you purchase your own separate policy so that your belongings and furnishings are protected.
If you rent, your landlord is not responsible if you are a victim of theft in your apartment and his insurance coverage may not cover you for a loss inside your apartment. It is advised that you obtain your own renters insurance. The premiums for renters insurance are usually no more than a couple of hundred of dollars per year.
Interestingly, many homeowners and some renters policies provide protection, including the providing of a lawyer and indemnification, not only when someone is injured on your property but also if you are in the unfortunate situation of being sued for defamation.
Where you own a home and an automobile, you may want to consider buying umbrella coverage. This is additional insurance to your homeowners and auto coverage and for only a couple of hundred of dollars in premiums, you get millions in dollars in coverage protection.
LIFE INSURANCE – Don’t overlook obtaining life insurance that will protect your family and loved ones when you pass away. Most policies will be sufficient to cover funeral expenses, outstanding debts, help cover the mortgage and may leave funds for your loved ones to continue on with their lives, goals and dreams. There are different types of life insurance policies. The most common are term life and whole life policies. They vary in premiums and duration. Some insurance policies may pay for itself over time or can be borrowed against in the time of financial need. The younger you start paying for life insurance, the cheaper the premiums. Again, there are many quality insurance brokers who can help you select a plan that best serves your needs.
For over 25 years, Frederick S. Schwartz has used his knowledge and experience as a former insurance company attorney to his clients’ advantage. He has valuable insight into the mindset of the insurance carrier and its adjustors and attorneys. This gives him an advantage in the negotiation, litigation and settlement process.
Fell free to contact Frederick Schwartz at the Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz if you have specific questions or concerns.