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Don't Let Your Fears Sell You Insurance

Contributed by mm | August 3, 2004 7:11 AM PST

WSJ's Terri Cullen explains why you should think twice before buying these four types of insurance:

Cancer Insurance

For a premium of $300-$600/year, the insurance company will make one-time payout of $2,000 to $5,000 upon diagnosis of cancer per occurrence. One should not consider it because it is far from adequate to provide good treatment of cancer -- devote the money for a better comprehensive medical plan.

Sports-Injury Insurance

Premium ranges from $8 to $150/year for comprehensive coverage. One should not purchase it unless health-care insurer excludes such injuries.

Terrorism Insurance

Homeowners generally do not need terrorism insurance as it is coverage in the homeowner insurance plan. Condo and co-op owners may need to check if the commericial insurance by the condo/co-op association needs the terrorism coverage.

Identity-Theft Insurance

TransUnion offers up to $25,000 coverage for $10.95/quarter. However, the coverage is only for expenses to clean the name -- it does not cover the actual loss when the identity is stolen. One probably does not need it because the process to clean the name can be done on one's own without much expenses, and credit card issuers usually cover most of the actual loss when someone else squanders your credit card.

This Post Has Received 25 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Brian Chorley Commented on June 22, 2005

Hello! Thanks for having this site. I just found it today and enjoy the discussions and articles. I do have to disagree with you about the Cancer insurance. It is not always a waste of money. I should disclose that I sell policies for AFLAC, that invented the cancer plan in the late 1950's. Our premiums run anywhere from $322 to $624 annually, but the benefits are far greater than just a few thousand dollars. Our initial benefit is at least $2000 when you are diagnosed and then you are paid additionally as you go through treatments. In my experience, the average cancer claim is about $18,000. Just two weeks ago an agent I work with received a cancer claim check to deliver that was over $25,000. Since Cancer is the number one reason for medical bankruptcy, this insurance is certainly worth its value. We have thousands of claimants to prove it. I just wanted to throw my two cents in there since I see how AFLAC's cancer insurance helps people every day. Thanks again, Brian

Brian Chorley Commented on June 22, 2005

Hello again, I guess I should explain the cancer insurance concept a little further than I did in my last reply. It is designed to be in addition to your major medical plan. Cancer insurance doesn't pay the doctors or hospitals, it pays the money directly to the policyholder in order to pay other bills as the need arises. For example, if one happens to get cancer, then you are most likely going to be missing a lot of work and if you have a spouse who works, they are more than likely going to be missing some work to take care of you and to take you to and from treatments. If you both are missing work, then you are probably missing income as well, and your regular bills like rent, mortgage, car payment and utilities are not going to stop coming in. So, the AFLAC policy is designed to keep your head above water while you concentrate on fighting the cancer. In many cases where you see a cancer benefit to help out a family or a person fighting cancer, an AFLAC policy could have gone a long way to prevent such a situation. Anyway, I hope that clears things up a little on how cancer insurance works. Thanks again, Brian

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