A Good Financial Checkup Starts with the Right Questions

Life and Money by Citi
By Kate Ashford
Published January 17, 2019

Do I have enough insurance? (And the right kinds?)

Many people under 40 are meeting some of their insurance needs through group benefits at work, says Byrke Sestok, a financial planner in White Plains, NY. But many also take what’s offered without adding on, which can leave them underinsured, particularly if they have a family. Along with basic property insurance, such as auto and home, consider whether you have enough (and appropriate) life insurance and disability coverage.

“Life insurance through work is typically either a flat $50,000 death benefit or one to two times base salary,” Sestok says. “This is not sufficient if you are a young homeowner or have children.” Purchasing additional group life insurance through your employer often costs more than buying a private term policy, so do the comparison.

If your employer offers it, group disability insurance typically covers 50% to 60% of your salary, which is a good start. Many group disability plans also offer the option to purchase additional coverage up to 66 2/3% of salary, and it’s a good idea to do so.

Talk to your advisor also about your home and auto insurance. “Do-it-yourselfers frequently go for the lowest premium they can find without understanding the lesser coverages,” Sestok warns.

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