Shopping for insurance isn’t much fun. It’s a lot better when you use an insurance broker, but it’s not exactly a joy even then. You’ll look at some paperwork, discuss some benefits, pay your first premium, and then you’ll move on. You’ll remember your policy from time to time and feel secure, but you probably won’t often feel like pulling that policy out and poring over it like it’s an old family photo album.
As a result, many of us have no idea what our insurance policies cover. That can be dangerous in cases where we think we’re covered and we aren’t (relying on a broker can help prevent that). But it’s also a shame when you think you aren’t covered and you are, because you may miss out on key benefits! And if you do take a moment to look over your insurance, you might be surprised to see what is covered.
What your health insurance may cover
Health insurance companies have to pay up when the people they cover get sick or injured. So, naturally, it’s in their best interest to make sure that you’re healthy and happy. It’s in their financial interest, to be exact, and that has led many health insurance companies to offer health-friendly benefits that you may not expect.
Do you belong to a gym? Your health insurance may be willing to pay for all or part of your membership fees (often through reimbursement, discounts, or credits toward your insurance premium payments). In some cases, you may have to prove that you’ve actually been using your gym regularly over some recent timeframe, such as the past six months.
Virtually all health insurance plans cover flu shots, which are easy to get at your local pharmacy and other nearby establishment (just look for the signs before flu season starts).
Similarly, broad categories of preventative care are often covered more aggressively by health insurance companies than other types of care are. Ask your insurance company what your policy covers in terms of regular doctor’s visits, vaccinations, cancer screenings, and more.
And don’t think for a moment that health insurance is only for your physical health. You can use your insurance for drug or alcohol rehab, for example, or for counseling and therapy. How much you’ll be covered for will depend on your policy, but you won’t know until you ask!
What your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover
Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is for your home or apartment – but it’s also for the things within in. Remarkably, many of these policies actually cover your belongings even outside of the home! It’s worth asking your insurance company or broker what type of coverage you have if your computer is damaged at the local coffee shop or your favorite piece of jewelry is stolen from your gym locker. Particularly in the case of riders added for things like engagement rings, renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies often don’t stop protecting you just because you step out the door.
What your car insurance may cover
You know to call your car insurance if you’re in an accident. But what about smaller issues? Insurance companies know that untreated problems with your car will grow larger (and more expensive) with time, so they tend to be pretty generous in their coverage for preventative maintenance and small repairs.
For instance, you’ll likely find that your insurance company covers the cost of the fast and (relatively) cheap windshield repair services needed to fix little nicks and chips – which makes sense, because windshield repairs are a whole lot cheaper than windshield replacements.
What your life insurance may cover
If there’s one case in particular where you want to do your research ahead of time, it’s with life insurance. Make sure that your family knows what is covered! Your life insurance won’t necessarily pay out a lump sum to your family if you pass away – it may cover specific expenses (such as funeral costs) or give them replacement income based on your earning power.
Do your research!
No matter what types of insurance policies you have, it’s worth knowing what they cover. You never know what type of benefits you might be missing out on!