Hidden discounts are not the only reason to double-check your insurance. In fact, it’s not even close to the best reason. Insurance is all about being financially covered when the unexpected comes knocking. It is not about prepaying for the expected. That would just be discounted emergency services. Insurance only works as a business if the majority of people who pay for it never actually need to use it.
That may sound cynical. But that really is the insurance proposition. Like credit, you can only easily get it if you can prove you don’t need it. You and the insurance company are always jousting. They win if you pay for services you never need. You win if you pay for services you end up needing. That is why it behooves you to double-check your coverage to make sure you are covered for the unexpected. Here are a few examples of coverage you might want to reconsider:
Drug Addiction Recovery
No one wants to think they will ever require drug addiction recovery services. After all, drug addiction is something that happens to other people. No one identifies themselves with one of “those” people. But that is largely because they don’t have a good idea of who “those” people are. According to government information regarding public substance abuse treatment enrollment:
About 60 percent of admissions were White, 21 percent were African-American, and 14 percent were Hispanic or Latino. Another 2.3 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, and 1 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
The information also reveals:
The age range with the highest proportion of treatment admissions was the 25–29 group at 14.8 percent, followed by those 20–24 at 14.4 percent and those 40–44 at 12.6 percent.
Being young and white makes you far more likely to end up in a rehab facility than being a young person of color. Neither wealth nor education insulate one from drug addiction as much as one might think. The near endless lists of smart, wealthy celebrity addicts should put an end to that notion.
The treatment numbers might skew white because they are more likely to have the resources to pay for it. Because whites have greater access to job-provided insurance, they will be better able to afford the kind of drug treatment that has proven effective.
Facilities like The Recovery Village make a point of accepting the greatest possible number of insurance providers. In particular, they accept coverage from Aetna, UBH, Cigna, GHI, Value Options, BCBS, Individual Insurance plans, Humana, etc., with the approval from your provider. Their page lists even more providers, giving you a good idea of where to look for insurance that covers drug addiction treatment. If you have some of the common risk factors, be sure your insurance will be there for you just in case.
Many homeowners are tragically misinformed about their homeowner’s insurance. When something goes wrong, they call the insurance company, only to be told that said disaster is not covered. One of the expensive lessons learned in this manner is that homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover flood damage.
According to usatoday.com, the average claim is more than $38,000. That puts a $650 annual premium into perspective. Those who opt out because they live in a moderate to low risk area may not be taking a safe bet. One-third of federal disaster assistance for flood goes to those areas.
Full Replacement Cost
If that $4,000 Sony big screen you bought three years ago was stolen today, how much would your insurance company pay you? Unless there is something in writing to the contrary, they will pay you actual cash value, which represents how much they think the item was worth at the time it was stolen, including depreciation. In other words, you might get enough money back to buy a 40” Walmart special. To avoid this, you have to make sure you are covered for full replacement cost, which allows you to repurchase a TV similar to the one that was lost when it was new.
The next time you double-check your insurance, don’t look for maximum savings–look for maximum coverage.