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Home  > Handling the Unexpected: Do you Need Insurance Protection?
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Handling the Unexpected: Do you Need Insurance Protection?

Provided by the International Finance Corporation

Insurance protection should not be optional.  You may rationalize not needing insurance by telling yourself that you are healthy or a good driver.  These facts may be true but you never know when you could get sick or injured or hit by someone who is not as good a driver as you.  Since we cannot predict life events, we should be prepared for the worst. 

Many of us have insurance only if we are required to have coverage.  For instance, some countries have laws making car insurance mandatory.  Or we might have insurance by default if we work for a large company that provides life insurance as an employee benefit.  But when insurance is optional, most of us choose to take our chances.

Two types of “optional” insurance that should be strongly considered are life and health.  Life insurance is particularly essential if you have dependents.  If you died, how much would it cost to cover your families’ expenses?  How would they survive without your income?  Usually the price of life insurance has a direct correlation to your age.  The younger you are- the cheaper the insurance policy.  Conversely, the longer you wait, the policies you can obtain will be progressively more and more expensive.   

The second type of insurance to be considered is health.  Since a sudden unexpected illness or a serious medical condition can require expensive care, health insurance prevents you from exhausting your savings or from getting deeply into debt.  In the case of health insurance, the correlation to price has more to do with your general health than your age.  Usually, the better your physical condition, the more affordable the policies are.   

Besides these two major categories of insurance, some companies offer more specialized types.  For instance, you may be able to get disability insurance which would help to pay your expenses during a period of recovery from an accident or illness.  Make sure to read the fine print since the benefits may only be offered for a limited period, such as a year?  If your disability is serious, a year may not provide enough coverage.    

Other types of insurance may provide protection against the uncertainty of the weather, which is particularly important for farmers.  For example, if the weather is responsible for a poor harvest, insurance will help to replace the lost income.  Or farmers may be able to buy insurance to protect the value of their livestock, in case of premature death.  Homeowners insurance may also be available to guard against theft of your property or protect you against acts of nature, such as a flood or extreme wind.  

Carrying insurance gives you the peace of mind that when life events occur, you will have coverage against unexpected expenses.  Living without insurance is an incredibly risky way to go through life.  When and if something tragic happens, you could be ruined financially by the huge expenses that you alone will be responsible for.  So, insurance should not be considered optional.  It is not a want but rather a need.            

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