What insurance do you buy because you want to and not because it’s required?

By “required”, I’m thinking of homeowner’s, auto, and medical. I understand that in some cases, those types of insurance are not always required but for the most part, either a lien-holder or the government requires it.

I have a fair amount of life insurance that also covers long term care, which at 58, is something I think more and more about.

So, if we include extended warranties as a type of insurance, what do you buy? Renter’s? Travel? Pet? Etc.

I get maximum offered UIM insurance, not required and is very important.
I have a $2M Umbrella Policy that covers cars, house and boat policies.
Also, Long Term Disability insurance. (relatively low benefits, but better than nothing and will keep me off the streets)
I recently got Long Term Care insurance, but not wild about the idea (long story as to why I got it)
I used to have a lot of life insurance, but after kids grew up and we paid off our house, I let all but one policy lapse.
We also have Flood and Earthquake insurance. Neither are required since we don’t have a mortgage, but it’s nice piece of mind.

I’ve got life insurance so my wife can pay off the house if I die.

Gap insurance for my car, vis-a-vis the car loan.

My house is paid off but I find it wise to continue to carry homeowner’s insurance.

I always go for the road hazard insurance when buying tires, though sometimes a tire retailer will throw that in.

Auto insurance beyond liability, but with a fairly high deductible.
Excess property coverage for certain items that are valued above normal household goods coverage within the homeowners policy.
Life insurance for self and spouse…not lottery amounts but to cover needs in the case of loss of income stream or additional costs associated with no longer having a spouse.
Medical, dental, and eye health insurance.
Long term disability.

UIM insurance in Oklahoma is stupid. It only covers medical costs if hit by an uninsured motorist.

My husband has life insurance so we can pay off student loans if he dies, and then I can raise our son at least to age 18 without having to worry about money.

I think we need disability insurance. We are completely dependent on his income.

Apart from the car, the house and its contents, all we have is a policy that covers plumbing repairs. We only have that because it came as a package with a boiler maintenance contract.

We have taken out short term medical policies to cover holidays abroad, but that’s about it.

It’s my belief that it is far more efficient to put money into savings, since that remains yours.

Quite the opposite for me. It’s included by default, and takes some proactive steps to remove. And so far as I can tell it’s expensive and useless. Damage to my own car is covered anyway as part of the main policy, just with a deductible that I choose. And I already have medical insurance.

Travel insurance.
I didn’t even know about it until I was on a tour that required it - and it seemed like a great deal to me and my approach to risk/risk tolerance (“I give you a small fraction of the cost of the trip and if something goes wrong, you helicopter me out to the hospital of my choice and pay for the hospital and getting me home afterwards? Take my money.”) Since then, I’ve used it on international vacations, even when not required. I feel a lot safer when I’m travelling overseas. Luckily, I’ve never needed to use it. I am ok with that.

I feel even more ok with it every time I read about travel nightmares without travel insurance.

Medical insurance is not required, and since I’m healthy for my age I’d prefer to self insure. The broken system in the U.S. makes this completely impossible. I have the resources to self insure if I knew that providers would bill me at approximately the same rates that they bill insurance companies, which obviously represents the “real” prices. But if I don’t have insurance,
(a) providers won’t tell me what anything costs before I’m treated;
(b) they will send me a bill that is literally five times the real price, claiming it’s the fair price, and I have no practical recourse to dispute that.

I have heavy “umbrella” liability insurance. It may be overpriced, but just having my insurance company’s expertise to hanlde it if something happened makes it worth it to me. I know if I self-insured I’d be psychologically very reluctant to “settle” even for a small amount if I thought the claim was not justified, and that could just lead to something dragging out for years and immense stress.

I’ve represented many people who are out of work for a year (or forever) after getting hit by an underinsured driver. Others have been killed. UIM can get you lost income, pain and suffering, things not covered by other insurance. In Washington, many drivers have only $25,000 in coverage for damage they do to you. Some have no insurance (although that’s more rare these days).

I vaguely remember that we had this conversation before. And I should I have qualified my statement by saying that UIM coverage is useless for me. I’m retired with good medical insurance. Any damage to my own car is covered by my own policy, regardless of whether the other driver is insured.

If UIM were to give me a multi-million-dollar payout or something if a crash put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life that would be great. But the UIM I was paying for didn’t offer anything remotely like that, I think the payout was capped at $50k.

Yup, I just looked it up - capped at $25k per person, $50k per accident. All for stuff that (for me) is covered by other insurance that I’m paying for anyway, except for I guess $25k for personal injury.

I see. If that’s the limit, I’m fine with passing on getting it. (and in some states, it’s not on top of third party limits. For example if you have $25,000 UIM, and they have $25,000 in liability, you get no value from the UIM.)

Yeah, so far as I could tell it was state-mandated insurance (mandated that they include it by default, not that you cannot decline it), and it was priced to factor in many people who did not have the other coverage that I have anyway. So the overlapping coverage meant it represented terrible value for money for me.

I’m not, of course, arguing that’s it’s a bad idea to protect yourself against (say) the risk of being crippled in an accident, just that this was not the best way to do it, at least in my state.

Home contents insurance - what I think is called renter’s insurance in the US. It’s not much money for peace of mind.

Travel insurance

Medical inc dental (I’m in the UK).

I always get travel insurance when travelling abroad, even within the EU when almost all medical costs were covered. It cost hardly anything at all. In fact, until my health went down the pan I used to pay about £25 a year for worldwide travel insurance if it didn’t include the US, and something like £50-£60 including the US. That’s for unlimited trips and even included weekends away in the UK.

Nowadays I have to pay a lot more, about £250, because of my health. But I’m more likely to need to use it, so it’d be even stupider not to get it.

My employer provides private healthcare insurance at a massively reduced rate. I only get the most basic plan because my wide variety of pre-existing chronic conditions means there isn’t an awful lot left to cover. But it’s going to be something like £46 a year, so I might as well. And the most basic dental insurance, which doesn’t cover implants (well, they contribute a small amount, but nowhere near the cost of an implant), but does seem to cover everything else, is another £40 a year. It’s worth it just for the check-ups and clean and polishes.

Currently I don’t have pet insurance because the charity I got her from provides very low-cost care (though I always pay more than necessary) and they happen to be a very good vet, so I’d rather stick with them.

Term life insurance, expiring in four years as at that time I’m almost certainly more valuable to my wife and kid dead than alive (only financially speaking, I hope)

Buyers title insurance.

Umbrella policy with limit of $2M

Auto insurance with limit of $250k, five times the required amount.

At work I up the life insurance. The company provides 2 times my salary automatically, but I doubled that, even though I have no debt and no dependents to leave it to, except my nieces and nephews. It’s cheap and if something should happen to me, bonanza for them. I also pay a tiny amount to increase my short-term disability from 70% to 95% of my pay, or something like that.

My house is insurance for greater than the usual sq ft replacement cost, because it’s almost 200 years old and all wood - inside, outside, floors, walls, ceilings. My insurance guy said at the standard rate it wouldn’t “replace” what I have now. And I have a $1mm umbrella policy in case some trespasser gets stepped on by one of my horses or stung by one of my bees.


Title insurance seems like a “required” one. What am I missing?