Things happen. They happen to people and inanimate objects, and they happen for very good reasons or for no reason at all. For those in pursuit of accumulating significant retirement accounts and robust stock portfolios, or even if you’re new to saving, it’s never a bad time to review your insurance policy holdings.
The moment you think you don’t need insurance is an invitation for your bike to be stolen (yes, this happened to me a few months ago). Even if a peril has not struck you or your family yet, it’s absolutely critical that you identify areas of your life that stand at risk and find ways to protect them adequately. Here are three reasons why you can’t afford to be uninsured.
1. Health is everything
It should go without saying that your health is the bedrock of your personal finances, and without your health, everything else is rendered meaningless. Young, healthy adults may find themselves thinking that they can go without health insurance, but this couldn’t be further from the realm of good ideas.
Even if you have no chronic conditions, it’s simply a non-negotiable to have some form of health insurance that can help defer costs if something unfortunate should happen to you. Additionally, an inexpensive term life insurance will check nearly all of the boxes in most circumstances — there is no need to do anything more complex than that. The list of potential injuries, illnesses, and ailments is really unlimited, and in the worst case scenario, you’ll at least have an insurance company (somewhat) willing to stand between you and a medical provider in the event of catastrophe.
Pets also get needlessly injured or find themselves in freak-accident situations. Our one-year-old goldendoodle, Ruby, recently got her mouth stuck in a plastic puzzle toy that required a visit to the emergency vet — a team of eight worked together to remove the toy from her lower jaw. Thankfully, she was fine after a day or two of rest at home, but the ordeal served as a reminder that these situations can and do happen. Once I saw the bill, I couldn’t have been happier that I had invested in pet insurance. The insurance plan we purchased covered enough of the vet’s bill to offset nearly two years’ worth of premiums. This is the definition of value — with a side of peace of mind.
2. Things magically disappear
It’s no coincidence that many of the items we value most have a tendency to disappear if not kept under close surveillance. As I mentioned in the intro, my bike was stolen a few months ago. It was taken right from my garage. I live in a safe area without much crime, and this is something you simply don’t wake up expecting.
Most renters’ insurance providers will offer the option to add bike coverage (as well as coverage for jewelry and other valuables), and I recommend making these small investments even if you believe the probability of theft is close to zero. There’s a good chance your valuables won’t just walk out the door, but what if they do? If premiums become too expensive, even having some minimal coverage will lessen the blow of misplacing your items or having them disappear as casualties of theft.
3. Peace of mind is priceless
As life becomes more complex in mid-adulthood, time becomes much more scarce and it’s increasingly important to know that your assets are protected. Most people don’t want to spend time arguing with an insurance company as to why the plan doesn’t cover their loss, and even more people don’t want to pay full cost to replace an item.
This is another vote for generous policies from the start. Simply knowing that your valuables are (actually) covered in the event of loss is extremely valuable in and of itself. It’s far too easy to say “that won’t happen to me” or “that hasn’t ever happened, so it won’t happen in the future!” — these are simply invitations for these events to happen tomorrow.
Far too often, there is a broad temptation to try to go without insurance in aspects of your life that don’t feel risky. These are the situations in which you should feel particularly wary, as humans are notoriously poor at making these judgments. Be generous with your insurance coverages and don’t allow yourself or your family to be the victim of unfortunate occurrence. Sooner or later, your number will likely be called.
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