While your focus may be on accumulating assets, safeguarding your wealth is equally important. Death, disability, divorce, creditors and civil litigation all pose a potential threat to your family’s financial security. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to protect yourself.
Four core insurance needs
Additional coverages you may require based on your personal circumstances include boat/aircraft insurance as well as specialized liability policies such as malpractice, employment practices insurance for business owners, excess liability, and umbrella coverage.
Health insurance basics
Take advantage of your employer’s group health insurance. It’s usually much less expensive than purchasing coverage on an exchange since employers usually subsidize a significant portion of the premium payments and offer several plans with a range of benefits, coverage and costs.
Fund a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Healthcare Spending Account (HSA) if offered by your employer. They allow you to contribute pretax dollars (like a retirement plan) that can be used for eligible medical expenses.1
Know your rights under COBRA. If you lose your job, you may be able to remain on your former employer's group policy for 18 months at your own expense. This can afford you time to research and obtain coverage elsewhere. COBRA also allows 36 months of coverage if you get divorced and your spouse provided healthcare coverage.
If you get married, compare your spouse's plan to yours. One may offer benefits that better fit your family’s needs. And generally, you could pay less with a single-family plan versus two individual plans.
Life insurance basics
If you’re married and have children, life insurance takes on increased importance — replacing lost future income or providing added financial support for your dependents if you or your spouse prematurely die. And typically, the younger you are when purchasing a policy, the lower the premiums.
Deductibles vs. premiums
There's a broad range of insurance products to choose from. Most have flexibility, so you can customize coverage to fit your individual needs and budget. In many cases, you can manage your premium costs by balancing coverage (and deductible where applicable).
With your financial advisor, you can discuss how to balance your insurance needs and levels of coverage with your budget. One size does not fit all.”
1 An HSA is owned and controlled by you. FSAs are owned by your employer. If you leave your job, funds held in an FSA may be forfeited, whereas any funds deferred into an HSA are yours to keep and roll into another HSA.