Insurance policies are designed to protect you and your family from financial disaster in the event of your death, a fire, a car accident, a flood or any other catastrophic event. However, some insurance policies — flight insurance or credit-life insurance — will just bleed you dry of your hard-earned money, because the likelihood of you needing them is remote.
Conversely, there are some insurance policies that you shouldn 't be without. And, if you don 't have these policies — for example, flood insurance or health insurance — you're putting your family and your finances in harm 's way.
ConsumerReports.com compiled a list of five insurance policies that Americans don 't need. Take a look at these policies and check the ones you already have, you may find that some of these insurance products are already covered by your existing policies.
Here are five policies that you don 't need:
1.) Mortgage life insurance. This policy, generally purchased from a lender, will pay off your mortgage if you die. The cost can be three to five times as much comparable term-life for a benefit whose value declines as the mortgage is paid down. Instead: Rely on term life insurance.
2.) Credit-card-loss prevention. It pays off losses if your card is stolen and the thief goes on a spending spree. Plans cost between $7 -$15 a month. But federal law limits your loss to $50 per card. Instead: Put credit-card numbers in a safe place, and report lost cards ASAP.
3.) Car-rental insurance. For $10 to $25 a day, it covers damages to cars and people if you 're in an accident while driving one of the rental agency 's vehicles. Check to see if your credit card or your own auto policy will offer full coverage on a rental vehicle. Instead: If you 're already fully covered, then don 't bother.
4.) Flight insurance. Specialty travel-insurance companies sell life-insurance policies that pay a benefit if you die (or are dismembered) in a plane crash. Depending on the amount of insurance you buy you pay $15 to $60 per flight. Instead: Skip it. Term life will cover you if you die in a plane crash, and health insurance should cover medical expenses.
5.) Cancer insurance. Credit-card companies, banks, and other organizations that finance a purchase or lend money offer policies that repay a loan if you die. In fact, the average rate across the nation for credit insurance is 50 cents per $100 of coverage. This means a consumer pays $30 a year to insure a $6,000 loan. That 's a lot of money when a healthy non-smoking man of 40 can buy $100,000 of 10-year level term coverage for as low as $100 a year. Instead: Make sure you have enough term life to cover loan payments.
If you have questions about the right insurance to purchase, visit with your on-base financial counselor. They can help walk you through what insurance, and how much, is right for you. And, for more financial information, visit Military.com 's Finance channel.