In August 2016, more than 40,000 homes were damaged by devastating floods in Louisiana, and a majority of the homeowners didn’t have flood insurance.
According to FEMA, which oversees the National Flood Insurance program, only 42% of homes in Louisiana’s high-risk areas are covered for floods. Only 12.5% of homes outside designated flood zones have coverage, and many of the homes affected were outside of designated flood zones.
Repairing or replacing these homes will be challenging, which underscores the importance of having the right kind and amount of insurance. And that wisdom applies to all insurance, not just flood insurance. Insurance is designed to protect you against unforeseeable events, so whether it’s a flood, an auto accident, or the death of a loved one, you’ll need it.
Take life insurance. If your loved ones will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance to provide cash to your family in the event of your death. And there’s no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.
This cash, referred to as a death benefit, replaces your income and helps your family meet important financial needs. These range from managing daily living expenses to paying funeral costs. And while your children are grown and have moved out of the house, you may still need life insurance. What about your mortgage – is it paid off? Even so, your spouse will still have to manage daily living expenses. Without life insurance funds, does your financial plan allow your spouse to maintain the lifestyle you both worked so hard to achieve?
Then there’s the issue of your estate: depending on its size, your heirs could be hit with an estate tax bill of up to 45% after you die. The proceeds of a life insurance policy would allow your heirs to pay these taxes immediately.
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