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Insurance that is Cheap or Free

written by: wearmanyhats•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 2/14/2010

Cheap or inexpensive insurance is offered to many people. People often don't even remember they have certain insurance policies! Here are memory joggers about possible policies that you might have and reasons to keep track of it.

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    Life insurance is often offered as a benefit when you accept certain jobs, because group policies are fairly inexpensive. The risk is spread over a large population. You can check with your employer to see if that is true. For example, a teacher might have, as part of his contract, a $10,000 life insurance policy through his employer as a part of the salary package. The teacher’s union might offer an additional amount of life insurance as part of the dues the teacher pays each month. If the total amount were $20,000 and the teacher is somehow killed, the remaining spouse better know that these policies exist and how to file the claim. While it is not an amount that will replace lost income, this amount would certainly help with funeral expenses.

    Hidden insurance is often found in other insurance policies! For example, rental car insurance can be covered under your regular automobile insurance, but you may have to ask for the coverage. Also, roadside assistance, which is really insurance against car problems, is often found in auto coverage as well. This is critical to know because many subscribers to AAA will suddenly find themselves paying twice for the same insurance.

    Another place to find hidden insurance is in your credit card. Many companies offer a myriad of benefits that often go unnoticed by the small print on the credit card flyers. However, these are substantial benefits. Credit card theft protection and travel insurance protection are sometimes free to card users. Rental car insurance is also sometimes included, as is purchase insurance. Purchase insurance protects you in case the purchase you on the card made was broken or stolen. There is a time limit on these claims, but it is truly peace of mind if you need it.

    Travel insurance is often offered free through special vacation clubs or travel tickets. It's very needed, but the trickiest to use. For example, if you have insurance covering a loss of baggage, you often need a list or photos to even claim what has been lost. Know what is covered and what you have to do to file a claim.

    Credit Unions sometimes offer free accidental death and dismemberment insurance to their members. This is both a life insurance and indemnification policy. The overall cost of these premiums is minimal because the risk is spread over a large population. While the payout is usually small for the life insurance, there can be several thousand dollars for missing limbs. While it seems terrible to think that if you lose a hand, you would only get $5000, but consider how much that would help your family through a tough transition period.

    There are dozens of these kind of insurance policies. Keep one folder of the policies together. Review your coverage once a year with the companies that offer them, and don’t forget to keep the life insurance plans in mind when doing your financial planning. After all, when you actually need the coverage, you don’t want to be spending hours looking for it, or worse, forgetting you own them.