Boring But Necessary

Insurance won’t win any excitement prizes, but it’s a topic that a lot of us need to know more about. In a recent national survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average respondent correctly answered just four of ten questions. Most people did not know that auto insurance does not automatically cover a rental car, and 40 percent said they had no idea how much life insurance is appropriate for their family.

Two good sources of insurance information are the NAIC’s Insure U and Life Happens, a site put together by the non-profit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. The Life Happens site contains a helpful life insurance needs calculator.

If you ever rent vehicles, check the terms of the insurance policy on the vehicle you own and also the terms of your credit cards. In my family’s case, our agent told me that the same coverage that applies to the vehicle we own applies to a vehicle we rent. I then checked with our two credit card companies. Both offer free “secondary” insurance, assuming you use their card to pay for the rental. That means they cover anything not covered by the insurance policy on the vehicle we own, such as the deductible. Neither credit card company covers pick-up trucks, full-sized SUVs, or full-sized vans. One company provides coverage for up to 15 days; the other covers rentals lasting up to 30 days.


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