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Most people prefer not to think about it. But it's an important question. Will your family be financially secure if you are injured, become seriously ill, or die?

There are several types of insurance that can protect you and your family if the unexpected happens.

Disability Insurance

Whether permanent or temporary, disabilities can leave you unable to work. And the odds of becoming disabled may be greater than you thought. The Social Security Administration estimates that a 20-year-old worker today has a 30% chance of becoming disabled at some point before retirement.

You can purchase a disability insurance policy that can offer some peace of mind. If you become disabled and can't work, the insurance will pay you a percentage of your lost income. The amount depends on your policy, but 60% is typical.

You should also check with your employer to see if your company offers disability insurance.

Life Insurance

Life insurance can help provide financial support for your family after you die.

There are different types of life insurance policies. Make sure you understand the terms of the policy you are considering purchasing. Term life insurance, for example, is good for a set number of years. You pay premiums for a certain amount of time. If you die during that time your family gets money.

People often get term life to cover their families during the time when their death would have a big financial impact.  For example, it could be useful if you are in the middle of saving money for your kids' college tuition or if you are paying off a mortgage.

Permanent life insurance, by contrast, lasts your entire life as long as you continue to pay premiums. Permanent life insurance usually costs more than term life insurance.

Supplemental Health Insurance

When a serious illness or injury sends you to the hospital, you may have a lot of medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance plan. Supplemental health insurance helps fill that gap.

For example, supplemental health insurance can help you pay for:

  • Deductibles (the amount you have to pay before your health insurance kicks in)
  • Co-payments (the amount that your insurance plan requires you to pay for a health service)
  • Out-of-pocket expenses (medical bills that aren't covered by your health insurance)

These expenses can add up over the course of an illness.

You may also have other costs that come from a health problem. For example, you may need child care if you or your spouse is in the hospital. And traveling to and from treatment centers can also be costly.

Supplemental health insurance covers these expenses, usually by paying cash. Such payments often start on the first day of a hospital stay.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Serious conditions, such as chronic disease or major injury, can mean you need ongoing care that's not covered by your health insurance policy.

For example, you may need to hire someone to help you bathe, dress, and eat each day. Or you may need the type of care that can only be provided in an assisted living facility.

Long-term care insurance covers the costs of these situations, within limits set up by the policy.