Insurance is important because it’s required by law, and it protects you in the event of an accident, fire, flood, or other natural disaster. There are many types of insurance: home, auto, health, and life insurance are some of the types. The type of insurance that I’m recently familiar with is car insurance. I’m a new driver, and one of my mom’s first requirements to my driving was researching the cost of my car insurance. Because I’m a young driver, my car insurance is twice as much as my mother’s, because the risk of an accident is twice as likely.
My mother required me to take the necessary steps to get all of the discounts possible. I took driver’s education so that I could get a 10% discount. I had a good GPA, which allowed me to get a 10% good student discount. Adding an additional car allowed for a multi-policy discount. My mother purchased a used Volvo, which is rated very highly as one of the safest cars. That also helped on my insurance costs. Even with all of the discounts and an excellent driving record with no tickets or accidents, my car insurance is still $1854 a year.
I’m also a little familiar with homeowner’s insurance because my mother has a rental property. In ‘2013, the rental property caught on fire. During that process, she explained to me that her insurance would cover the actual house and the contents that she provided, like the water heater, air conditioning unit, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher. The tenant’s personal property and contents were covered under their renter’s policy. She requires her tenants to have a renter’s policy, in case of an emergency like this. I often help her do her paperwork, so she’s good about explaining how the process works because my brother and I will end up with the property one day.
I also have some knowledge about life insurance. My mother purchased a life insurance policy for my brother and me with New York Life a couple of years ago. She wanted an additional policy outside of her employer. When we are grown and start a family, she will require us to pay for our own policy. My mom emphasized that we’ve had family members who died without life insurance, and their immediate family didn’t have the money for a funeral. They ended up creating a “GOFUNDME” account, or asking family and friends to donate. My mother never wants us to go through that. Also, my grandmother is suffering with Alzheimer’s. Recently, she has asked my mom to get her life insurance paperwork from her house, and put it in a safe place to have in case something happens to her. Although this is a depressing conversation to have, it’s necessary to be prepared.
My other personal experience is that my brother and I went to high school with 2 brothers who tried to kill their parents, supposedly over their insurance money. My brother played football with the youngest brother, and my mom volunteered at the school with their parents. This was a shocking local story in our area. The rumor is they knew they would be the beneficiaries of their life insurance policies if both parents were dead, so they plotted to kill both of them.
Health insurance is also extremely important. My brother and I have always played sports. We played in the recreation league at the park, and during high school. When my brother played football, he often got hurt. One year, he got hurt twice that year, and had to go to the emergency room. The first time he broke his thumb. The second time, he sprained his knee. Each one of those bills was over $1000. If my mom didn’t have health insurance, she would’ve had to pay those costs out-of-pocket. Instead, she just had to pay a co-pay. My brother and I have also had other emergency room visits, allergy tests, heart exams, osteoporosis tests, annual physicals, and physicals for school sports. X-rays and MRIs are very expensive without insurance. A co-pay or a deductible is a lot less than the entire bill.
In addition, my brother and I both wore braces. Even though insurance only paid $1500 each child, it was still a savings of $3000. In addition, I had to have 7 teeth pulled before I could even get braces. Instead of my permanent teeth pushing out my baby teeth, they grew on the side of them, forcing them to have to be pulled. Although my mom had to pay a significant portion, the total costs would have been a lot more. I also learned that the insurance companies make the providers use a contracted amount rather than the amount that a non-insured would pay. That’s also a considerable savings.
Lastly, my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Her total treatments, surgeries, follow up exams, and medications have been over $400,000. I can’t imagine where she would be without health insurance. She wouldn’t have had the high level of care without health insurance, not to mention the amount of medical debt she would be in. As adults often say, kids take a lot for granted. Until I did this essay, I didn’t realize the importance or impact of insurance in our daily lives. Typically, we all take having insurance for granted, until something happens.
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