With so many insurance policies on the market, it can be hard to determine exactly what is necessary and what is not. However, finding the right insurance policies for your needs is an essential step towards protecting your most important assets and creating a solid financial future for you and your family.

In this article, we map out the five most crucial insurance policies you can’t afford to go without.

Life Insurance
Every adult with financially dependent children and spouses should take out life insurance. Considered the most selfless form of coverage, life insurance protects your family from financial hardship, in the event you were to pass away, by replacing your income.

Consider the kind of life you want your family to live, and then ask yourself, can they still have this without you?  A life insurance policy can cover your children’s college fees, help pay any outstanding debts and assist with mortgage repayments allowing your family to remain at home. Life insurance can also cover funeral costs, which can be an unexpected burden at the worst of times.

Health Insurance
Your health is imperative to everything you do, and this should be reason enough to take out health insurance. But, factor in the soaring costs of medical care, and health insurance becomes an absolute necessity. Even a simple checkup with your family doctor can generate a hefty bill, with more serious medical emergencies soaring well into the thousands—even millions—of dollars.

In 2017, the average health insurance cost $393/month for an individual and $1,021/month for a family. These premiums are pale in comparison to what you could pay. HealthCare.gov estimates the average three-day hospital stay costs around $30,000. If you think you’re fit and healthy, remember medical emergencies do happen. And they have the potential to quickly push your finances to the brink.

Disability Insurance
The potential for long-term disability is rarely considered. The prospect is so terrifying we tend to ignore the fact that it could happen to anyone, and often rely on the hope that “nothing will happen to me.” But no one needs to be told that counting on hope alone isn’t a smart decision.

Currently, more than 1 in 10 Americans live with a disability, and if you were to suffer a disabling injury or disease, a long-term disability policy could enable you to lead a complete and fulfilling life, regardless of whether or not you can continuing working.

Homeowners Insurance
Although it is possible to own a home without homeowner’s insurance legally, most lenders require an insurance policy to finance a mortgage. Some lenders also mandate separate earthquake or flood coverage depending on where you live. Once you have paid off your mortgage, you do have the option to cancel your policy. However, considering your home has taken a lifetime to afford and is likely one of the most significant investments you will make, going without homeowner’s insurance is ill-advised.

In the event something does happen to your home, having the right homeowner’s insurance can help keep your head above water. When comparing policies, look for a plan that covers the contents of your home, as well as the structure, in addition to the expense of living elsewhere while your home is rebuilt or repaired.

Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is another policy that is often mandatory. Most states require you by law to have at least basic auto insurance with liability coverage. Car accidents happen often and tragically. If you are involved in a car accident and are held liable for any injuries suffered or property damaged, you could lose everything you own.

Depending on your level of coverage, auto insurance can cover the cost of damages to both yours and someone else’s property, such as repairs or replacement of a vehicle or home, as well as legal defense costs, medical bills and rental car expenses.

Is it Possible to be Over-insured?
While the urge to protect yourself against every and any event is understandable, we don’t work hard all our lives to spend our savings on redundant policies. We work hard to build wealth so that we can lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. And while it’s important to be insured, there is such thing as being over-insured.

Paying too much for needless coverage can eat into your retirement savings, children’s college or emergency fund. To find a policy that suits your needs and your budget, it is essential you do your research and read all plans with a scrupulous eye. Here we have listed the five most important insurance policies, but if you need further help before you sign on the dotted line, Your Insurance Gal is always here to help.