Insurance Policies Part 1: Personal

Insurance Policies Part 1: Personal by Nadine Riley{4:54 minutes to read} Oftentimes, the demands of everyday living make us forget about protecting our most valuable asset, ourselves. We protect our identity, our homes, vehicles, phones, appliances, etc. without thinking twice about it. Our day is filled with the to-dos of today, the plans for tomorrow and the regrets of yesterday, but when was the last time we slowed down to think about life’s what-ifs?

  • I am the main breadwinner of my home. What if my employer decides to downsize (i.e. your service is no longer needed)?
  • What if I lose my largest client?
  • What if that pain is not related to gas, heartburn, sciatica, migraine, etc., but related to a rare disease that scientists are still researching?

These are just a few of the challenges we may face on this side of life.

Insurance is an essential and integral part of our finances. It provides protection if something happens to us. In this article, we will explore some common (but often overlooked) types of insurance in an effort to help you understand why they are necessary and which may apply to you and/or your business. We will also provide some real life examples in the hope that you may be able to relate.

Personal Insurance Policies

Disability Insurance – If someone is unable to work (in a full or partial capacity) due to a sickness or injury, a disability insurance policy will provide dollars to help them continue their lifestyle and pay their bills. Most employees are covered under a group policy; however, the policy may not be enough. A decent disability insurance policy should cover at least 60% of your income. The payout is generally tax-free if you have paid the premium with after-tax dollars.

Real Life Example: An OB-GYN hurt his back while at the hospital and could no longer practice. Through his disability insurance, he received an equivalent, tax-free salary with a yearly cost of living adjustment and has been able to move on to create a charity for young mothers in Haiti.

Life Insurance Life insurance, though not the most sought after type of insurance, is still one of the key insurances. Life Insurance provides a tax free sum of money to your family to help them replace you as the essential income producing part of the family. In the past, life insurance was seen solely as a protection for your loved ones after you die, but in recent years, it has been used as a savings vehicle. This makes it more attractive for single individuals.

Real Life Example: A dentist in midtown Manhattan passed away in 2016. His family and kids received over $5 million in cash because he had the proper coverage. Even with all of the emotional anguish, they have been financially self-sufficient because of his foresight and planning.

Long Term Care – Long Term Care is an insurance that helps provide dollars in case you or a loved one needs extended care, either in a facility or through an in-home health care worker. Medicare only provides coverage for a short period of time, so any additional care costs fall on the family. The ideal time to think about Long Term Care is when you are young or in your mid 50s. If you are financially responsible for a member of the older generation, you can obtain a policy for your parents.

Real Life Example: I have a client whose father has been in a medical facility for 6 years at a rate of $14,000 per month. Without LTC coverage, his family would be shouldering this burden.

In our next article, we will cover the types of insurance one should have when they are a business owner. As an employee, we had a steady stream of income and protection through our employer’s group policies. Now both income and insurance coverage are up to us.

Nadine Riley, CPA
Founder, Masterpiece Accounting Group
Phone: (212) 966-9301