How to Buy Insurance That Fits Your Family’s Needs


— Get your individual disability coverage when you’re young. The
premiums are cheaper because you have no adverse health history to
report and you can lock in low premiums for the life of the policy.

— Decide how much individual coverage you can afford and to save a few
bucks on the premium, extend your waiting period before benefits kick
in from 90 to 180 days.

— Always obtain the longest benefit period possible that protects you in
your “own occupation.” Look very closely at policies that only protect
your “own occupation” for 24 months then require you be disabled from
every occupation based on your training, education and experience.

— “Most importantly, take a hard look at the ‘limitation on benefits’
section, since many carriers limit mental/nervous claims to 24 months,
offer no benefits for pregnancy and cap self-reported claims like
headaches, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia to 12 months.”

— The group disability coverage from work does not protect you and it’s
taxable. The benefits offset dollar for dollar for State Disability
Insurance, Workmen’s Compensation, Social Security Disability
Insurance, pension and 3rd party recovery. Look at these group
policies as last resort only policies; they are nothing to depend on!


— If you’re young, single and no one depends on you for income or
financial support and you have enough money for burial and funeral
expenses, life insurance may be unnecessary.

— For the rest of us, the monetary pain of making life insurance premium
payments should be alleviated by the peace of mind and security of
knowing we are leaving our loved ones financially secure.

— Be careful if you are paying your monthly premium by monthly bank draws
that if your account gets too low or you switch banks your policy may
lapse in the interim. Consider an alternative reliable second person
as a contact should you miss a premium, change banks or if your balance
is too low.


— “Understand what services the Long-Term Care policies cover and who can
provide the care,” says Darras. If you need Long-Term Care, ask if you
can have the care provided: in your home, by a family member or friend,
in the home of a family member, in an adult care service facility, in
an assisted living facility, a hospice facility or in a nursing home.

— “Understand the policy terms custodial, intermediate and skilled care
and consider which type you may need and how soon,” says Darras.

— Never buy from a company you don’t recognize. What good is a policy
with really inexpensive premiums from a company that won’t be in business 20
years from now?

For more information see

Find My Insurance Policy

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA author and editor of Family Finance, is based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.
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