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Basic insurance needs

Insurance is a bit like shopping for a pair of pants or shoes. There are so many sizes, styles and colors. How is anyone supposed to make the right decision and know it is the right one?

Families often need multiple insurance products, many of which can be customized to fit their lifestyle, needs and budget, said Cindy Clampet, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant state specialist, family resource management.

“It’s important to be familiar with the basic types of insurance coverages you may need,” she said. “You want to be protected in case something happens.”

Here are three types of insurance every family should consider purchasing.

Car insurance. This seems like a given, especially since licensed drivers in Oklahoma are legally required to have car insurance. Beyond the legal requirement, there is another compelling reason to ensure a policy is in force.

In many cases, a vehicle is the most expensive possession a person owns besides a house. If someone causes an accident or if they are the victim of a crash, it is best to be protected.

“For most of us, if our primary vehicle is damaged in an accident, we can’t simply write a check for a new one,” Clampet said. “Not only will car insurance help protect you from that risk, it also will cover any possible medical bills if you or someone else is injured.”

Homeowners insurance. Damage to a home caused by events such as fire, tornado, lightning and theft can all be covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. Homeowners also are protected if someone is hurt on their property.

Coverage against property damage due to floods and earthquakes is usually purchased separately in the form of an insurance rider.

Renters should insure their personal belongings through a renter’s policy. The landlord’s homeowner’s policy only covers the building, not the contents.

“Some rental properties require residents to purchase renter’s insurance. If that isn’t the case where you live, it comes down to a question of how much stuff you have. If you can afford to replace all your belongings, perhaps you don’t need renter’s insurance,” Clampet said.

Life insurance. Life insurance usually is triggered after a policy holder’s death and protects their dependents and anyone responsible for settling their outstanding debts. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost for a funeral with a viewing and burial in the 2016 calendar year was $7,360. With a vault included the cost went up to $8,508.

This coverage is especially important for married couples with children and single parents. Single individuals and retired couples also may consider purchasing a policy to at least cover funeral and burial costs and help avoid financial hardships later in life.

For more information about different types of insurance, contact the nearest county Extension office and a local insurance professional.




Leilana McKindra
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
158 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: leilana.mckindra@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078