It started with my desk, continued
It all started with my desk. One simple piece caused a thousand conversations. The first bit, of course, was solving the broken desk. One day, while driving home from one of a dozen attempts to get that fixed, a rock hit my windshield and I got a chip. Two phone calls later, I had two meetings set:
1. To get the chip fixed, less than 12 hours after getting it.
2. With the insurance company to discuss insurance options.
Since moving to the states, insurance has been on my mind frequently. You need protection from everything here. It is so easy to be sued or over-charged for basic medical needs. Insurance helps with that. We have been very lucky. So far nothing has gone wrong and the company Kevin works for ensures we have amazing medical benefits. But we can't live on luck forever and so it was time to look beyond the basics.
In Canada we had third party liability on our vehicle and nothing else. Third party liability meant we were covered if we hit someone else and that was it. It was an older car, not worth much, and we couldn't afford more. It worked for that moment.
Life has changed drastically since.
Enter Lydia from my local State Farm (and no this isn't sponsored). A lovely lady who took the time we needed to work out all our shit. It's actually kinda scary when you start to work through the numbers and scenarios and realize what one accident could do to your livelihood. I've spent so much of my time dedicating everything financial to our debt that I forgot emergencies happen. Being protected is important and now we're better equipped to deal with those things.
Changes we made:
- Increased our car insurance to remove the $500 deductible. With the tiniest increase of our insurance (extra $4 a month) suddenly we no longer have to pay out of pocket for windshield chips (around $79 a piece, I've had one every year we've had the car).
- We no longer have just third party liability but an umbrella. Covering any or all damages for ourselves and anyone else involved (human, animal, or object). This protects us from being sued and having our income taken because we don't have coverage (they are legally allowed to take liens on your income here, WTF).
- We went through everything we owned and evaluated how much it would cost to replace it all if something happened. This caused us to increase our renters insurance because the old amount had been based on us 8 years ago.
- Under the umbrella insurance we got special protection on things like my camera gear and computer equipment. As nerds we are heavily invest in our gear and so protecting it against theft or fire or water is a huge weight off my shoulders. Obviously data on said electronics is another matter and everything should be backed up through companies like Backblaze (not sponsored, though I can get us both a free month if you are interested).
- We looked at life insurance. Honestly nothing makes me feel older than thinking about the possibility of using life insurance. We are all mortal and having this conversation is morbid but necessary. One of the things Lydia asked us was how we planned to maintain our lifestyle if something happened. And the fact is, there's no way I can earn as much as Kevin does at this moment. So we got life insurance. Just a bit for both of us, with plans to review every few years and adjust.
It was so much adulting in a short amount of time, but I'm relieved. If anything happens we'll be okay and our families won't have to deal with it. Next adulting project, a will...
So my question to you, dear reader, is have you ever looked into any of these things? Or had a need for them? I'd love your thoughts. Adulting is hard and we don't have honest conversations about the whole picture often enough.
NOTE: I want to acknowledge that this conversation comes from a great place of privilege. This article is a great outlook on class privilege and I highly recommend reading it.