Insurance Can be the Cornerstone of Personal Finance

When cutting expenses and finding ways to save money for retirement, a great vacation, college tuition or anything else, one of the first things to look at is insurance coverage. Below are some examples of common insurance types to consider.
Life Insurance
Life insurance can come in different forms. The least expensive is term insurance. It provides coverage a specified amount of time. Cait, a fellow blogger also from Vancouver, recently wrote that she was able to buy a term life insurance policy for just $24/month. Usually the younger someone signs up for life insurance, the cheaper the premiums. However, there are other life insurance products such as permanent life insurance which will cover someone’s entire life and create a savings account that can be eventually used.
Many insurance companies have an online presence these days. To research more about insurance in general, I think searching on Google for insurance agents is a good place to start for finding brokers near you. Then make an appointment with them to ask further questions. They can provide suggestions for how to reduce car insurance premiums or have a built-in savings account within a life insurance policy. Cait spoke with 3 different brokers before making her final decisions, so it’s okay to take your time. I’m really lucky to have group life insurance through my job. But if I wanted to have additional insurance I can buy private coverage as well.
Car Insurance
For those who qualify, there are several ways car insurance can be inexpensive. There are discounts for people who have good driving records, and in some parts of the world, for students who have good grades in school. This is very useful for families with teenagers because their age group has the highest insurance rates. All policies have a deductible that you must pay before the insurance company starts to pay, but this deductible can be reduced every year if the driver maintains a good driving record. For drivers living in Ontario, aha insurance has a useful page showing the average insurance rates by city.
Home Insurance
A home is a large investment and proper home insurance coverage in important. However, there are ways to reduce the cost and still have excellent coverage. Bundling home and auto insurance with the same company can reduce the total premium by 10% or more. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy home and auto insurance from the same agency.  Installing fire and burglar alarms and other safety devices such as outdoor lighting could also help lower insurance costs. Personally I don’t have to worry about this one because my strata (HOA) corporation that runs the building takes care of it all. This is one benefit of living in a condo. 🙂 My neighbours and I simply pay a monthly maintenance fees, and a small part of that is allocated to earthquake and fire insurance for the entire building. But as Jim mentions in the comments below we still need personal contents and flooding insurance.
Business Insurance
This can prevent a company from bankruptcy. For example, having liability insurance is critical if customers enter the business premises or if employees go into the customer’s homes. If there is an accident, and the business is not adequately covered, the owner could have to pay from his or her own personal finances. It’s best to speak with a financial advisor specializing in business development to help select the right kind of coverage for a business.
Random Useless Fact:
In the country of Denmark, the population of pigs is bigger than the population of people.
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11/22/2014 12:47 am

Good summary. I advise people to be careful with insurance and consider each type as it comes. Some insurance is required (car insurance), whereas others are a “luxury”. Its important to work out what you are paying in premiums, and whether this price justifies the reduction in risk!

For many insurance options, I actually self insure as I can afford to replace the product if it breaks, and therefore the insurance premiums are not worth it for me personally. Its different for every person, and for every type of insurance.

Jim F
Jim F
11/22/2014 2:32 am

Whoa dude, do some research. Home Insurance purchased by a condo corporation only covers the building structure, it doesn’t cover your contents or your personal liability for anything that happens inside your unit (including flooding that impacts another unit). You still need to purchase condo owners insurance. The fortunate thing though is because the structure is already covered by the condo corporation, this insurance is pretty inexpensive.

11/22/2014 9:06 am

Townhome and condo insurance gets very hard to follow and understand. There is insurance to cover the outside of the building separate from the inside. Renters causing damage needs a different type of insurance. Flood insurance only covers water coming from the ground and doing damage at ground level or higher. i.e. didn’t cover rain or hail damage… thats not a flood and my finished basement was not covered. It can get frustrating but these insurances are important.

Jim F
Jim F
11/22/2014 9:04 pm

Also, if you have a storage locker, ensure the insurance covers the contents in there also. It should if it’s listed on the same deed. Another locker room in my condo (not mine fortunately) had a pipe burst within, so condo owner insurance would have covered a circumstance such as that.

Mine doesn’t cost more than $300/year. Also, remember the insurance isn’t just about contents, the liability coverage portion is far more important if anything ever happens and someone gets injured inside your unit, or something from your unit damages another.

Financial Underdog
11/22/2014 9:14 am

Yes, you need content insurance that would cover everything that happens in your condo – floors, furniture, appliances, etc. Strata insurance doesn’t cover it. It’s fairly cheap. Ours is $200 and covers up to $40,000. But you have to make sure to read the fine print – for example jewelry is always capped at certain amount, and won’t pay out above that unless you attach a rider specifically for jewelery.

Financial Underdog
11/24/2014 2:25 pm

Keep in mind it supposed to cover EVERYTHING. Think of all the furniture, all your clothes, all electronics, all household items, your appliances, your flooring, even your blinds. For some people it’s thousands and thousands of dollars. We’re pretty modest but I know people who have $8K just in living room furniture.

Brian So
Brian So
11/23/2014 11:11 am

Unless they also do general insurance, life insurance agents won’t be able to help you lower your car insurance premiums. However, a good life insurance agent will be able to calculate your insurance needs and propose a policy that fits your need and budget. He may also be able to advise on other types of personal insurance, such as disability and critical illness.

11/24/2014 4:46 pm

Good summary. Here in BC you do get somewhat screwed by ICBC when it comes to car insurance though.


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