Messy Mudslides, Canine Cholesterol, and Lousy Landlords.

Can you afford surgery for your cat, paying your credit card bills if you lose your job, or a legal battle with your landlord? If you are insured you don’t have to worry about it. Once you start exploring insurance options you’ll discover that just about anything can be insured. The real question is if the cost of that insurance makes sense for your particular risk of loss. Some financial planners may suggest that you are better off foregoing these extra types of insurances and setting money aside each month just in case. However, since everyone’s situation is different we will take another look at secondary types of insurance that may be a fit for you when evaluating your exposure to various risks.

Pet Insurance
What is pet insurance?
Much like health insurance for human beings, pet insurance provides coverage for the veterinarian visits, medicine, and other medical treatment costs incurred while caring for your dog or cat.

Do you need pet insurance?
Your pet is like a family member and has health needs just like everyone else. They can fall, get diabetes and cancer, or need even need surgery. Many pet owners are faced with financial decisions that come along with both routine and out of the ordinary care. Ask yourself how you will feel about a choice between your emotional attachment to your pet or your ability to pay.

How much does pet insurance cost?
Once you start comparing policies you will discover they are a lot like human medical insurance. Plan prices vary by the age and health of your pet, as well as, the deductible and amount of coinsurance you are willing to pay.

Prepaid Legal Services
What are prepaid legal services?
Prepaid legal services are offered by companies that organize groups of legal professionals who are available to you with legal matters with which you need help addressing or understanding. As the name suggests these services are paid for in advance.

Do you need a prepaid legal service?
Legal matters, such as disputes with a landlord, preparing a will, or understanding some of the language in a contract can be difficult to manage on your own. There can be value in talking to a professional about issues that could have negative financial and legal consequences if you aren’t sure what the best course of action is.

How much does prepaid legal service cost?
There are various plans and costs for individuals and business owners. Most of them come with plenty of exclusions so be sure you have read and fully understand what is and is not covered prior to purchasing a plan. Typical costs can range from $17.00 per month to over $60.00 per month.

Mine Subsidence Insurance
What is mine subsidence?
It is the movement of the ground surface resulting from the collapse of underground coal or clay mine workings, or from a sudden unexpected breakout of water from an abandoned mine. It could form sinkholes or troughs in the ground. Mine subsidence insurance covers damage to your home or buildings and their appurtenances that occurs during the policy period and which is caused by the movement of the ground surface as a result of the collapse of underground coal or clay mine workings, or from a sudden unexpected breakout of water from an abandoned mine.

How do you know if you need mine subsidence insurance?
The easiest way to find out if you live in a high risk area is to enter your zip code into the abandoned mine search tool found at your state’s department of environmental services website. Another way is to ask your municipality’s office to see a map that highlights areas of previous mining activity.

How much does it cost?
In Pennsylvania, residential coverage costs about 65 cents for every $1,000 of coverage. An average policy of $130,000.00 would cost $85.00 a year. Residential structures have a $250 deductible, while non-residential structures have a $500 deductible. If at the time of a claim settlement the total cost of repair exceeds the policy limit, the deductible is waived. If you’re 65 or older by the premium due date, you get a 10% discount.

Long Term Care Insurance
What is long term care insurance?
It is insurance that can cover items not included with health insurance, such as: skilled nursing care, custodial care, assisted living facilities, adult day care, and hospice care. A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says there is at least a 40% chance you will need long term care after the age of 65.

Do you need long term care insurance?
LTC insurance isn’t just about age, as it will also provide assistance to someone who is terminally ill. Purchasers of LTC insurance most likely don’t need immediate coverage, but rather are assuming their need for help with daily living activities will increase as they become older, and that they will struggle to pay the cost of that assistance. Purchasing LTC insurance before you need it best; once a change of health occurs long-term care insurance may not be available.

How much does LTC insurance cost?
That will depend on your health, age, deductibles, and the type of coverage you want. Prices can range from $600.00 per year for a 50 year old to $6,000.00 per year for an 80 year old. Your premiums generally remain the same each year, which means that the younger you are when you first buy a policy, the lower your annual premium will continue to be.

Credit Card Payment Insurance
What is credit card payment insurance?
This insurance pays your monthly credit card balance if you become unemployed or disabled. Additionally, in the event of your death the insurance would pay off the balance of your credit card account.

Do you need credit card insurance?
This question is highly debated and situational. If you are unhealthy or work in an area where there is a good chance you will become unemployed it may be worth it. If you are unemployed and you miss making the minimum payments, there will be a negative effect on your credit rating, which can easily start a snowball affect into other areas of your life. However, some financial planning experts feel that it's a better idea to self-insure by making a small deposit each month into a savings account to draw on for the minimum payment. They also note that most coverage pays only the minimum monthly payment, not the entire balance.

They also point out that many credit cards already come with many free insurance protections such as: cell phone replacement (if you pay bill with credit card), lost luggage insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance, and rental car collision insurance.

How much does credit card insurance cost?
The cost of coverage can vary by credit card issuer. Capital One, for example, says, “You can cover yourself with this optional program for only 99¢ (plus applicable taxes) per every $100 of the balance of your account shown on your Capital One MasterCard monthly statement.”

Flood Insurance
What is flood insurance?
It is a special insurance offered by the federal government that covers flooding scenarios that are not covered by other insurance. Homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding. Flood insurance can be for homeowners or renters as you can buy coverage for property, personal belongings, or both.

Do you need flood insurance?
In the spring 2010 edition of the Western Pennsylvania AAA Motorist magazine, flooding is noted as the most prevalent natural disaster, and that homes are 3 times more likely to be affected by flooding then fire. Only flood insurance will cover flood damage. While risks vary, according to www.FloodSmart.gov, we all live in a flood zone. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000.00.

How much does flood insurance cost?
Flood insurance can be very expensive depending on the risk of flooding in your neighborhood. Neighborhoods are categorized as low to moderate risk or high risk. Floodsmart.gov provides a tool to tell you your risk and give you premium costs. Floodsmart.gov says that the average flood insurance policy costs $570.00 per year.

 
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