BOSTON (CBS) – Insurance is a financial tool that is used when you don’t have enough dollars in your emergency fund to cover the loss yourself.
Buying insurance is an emotional transaction. You are asking the insurance company to cover the terrible things in life that could happen to you. So it is no surprise that insurance companies have insurance for all sorts of perils. There are some policies though that may not be worth purchasing.
And every time we chat about frivolous insurance I will hear from at least one listener who used their pet insurance or auto loan insurance and begs to differ with me. It does happen but not often enough for me to make broad sweeping recommendations though.
Cancer Insurance: Don’t buy a policy that only covers one disease. Make sure you have good health insurance, disability insurance and adequate life insurance.
Flight Insurance: Odds of being killed in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. Make sure you have life insurance to cover the loss of life anywhere. Some credit cards provide flight insurance coverage.
Mortgage or Auto Loan Insurance: These policies are often sold by the mortgage company or bank to insure the loan if something should happen to you. If you die, the mortgage or the car is paid off. A better way is to purchase life insurance.
Life insurance for Children: You probably don’t need it and it is a lousy way to save for the kid’s education despite what the insurance salesperson is telling you.
Credit Card Loss Protection: We all fear our credit cards or credit card numbers will be stolen because we hear so much about identity theft. But you don’t need that $200+ a year policy to protect you. Federal law limits your losses to $50 per card.
Pet Health Care Insurance: I have not seen a really good policy out there. And I am not sure this is a practical purchase. Average cost about $650 a year.
Average expenses for a dog at the vet’s for a year is $211, and for cats $179 according to the APPMA, American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
What I do know is that pet health care has become more expensive as vets are applying more human medicine to animals. There are now chiropractors as well as acupuncturists for animals. And most policies have a deductible of $100 and an annual cap of $2,000. Best advice: To care for your beloved pet be sure you have an adequate emergency fund tucked aside.