10 things you can learn about money in 10 minutes that will change your life

What kinds of insurance you need

Everyone has to have health insurance, or pay a fee. If you have a car, you’re required to have auto insurance. If you own a home, you must buy homeowner’s insurance.

But beyond that?

Here are a few rules of thumb:

If you support yourself, get disability insurance.LearnVest has an easy-to-follow primer on how to calculate how much you need.

If you have children or other dependents, share outsized debts like a mortgage with a spouse, or have substantial private student loans, get life insurance.Term policies are sufficient for most people. If you have a high net worth, you might want to look into whole life insurance for its tax breaks.

If you are a renter, get renter’s insurance. In addition to covering break-ins or damage from a fire or severe weather, renter’s insurance will cover you if your car is ever broken into. “Anything that is not part of your vehicle that is stolen from your car — golf clubs in your trunk, for example — is not covered by auto insurance,” Jonathan Meaney, a certified financial planner and wealth manager at Carter Financial, told Business Insider, “Your renter’s insurance on the other hand, will cover those items.”

When everything is going swimmingly, insurance seems like an unwelcome extra cost. But when the waves start breaking and something goes seriously wrong, it can make all the difference.

Additional reporting by Kathleen Elkins.

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