As your typical 20 something year old I know that I’ll be out of the nest and off my parents’ insurance plan soon, but then what? I am getting my life started, renting an apartment, buying a car, finding a job in my career field, possibly getting married? …Well, maybe not the married part, but like most of my peers I want my assets to be protected while I’m “alone” in the world. We’re all familiar with that little green gecko, the “we are farmers” jingle, Flo from Progressive, but remain so unfamiliar with what they are actually trying to sell us. So I’ll start with the easy questions that I’m shy about asking, because in a world where we are all trying to adult I feel like an infant when it comes to understanding insurance.

What is insurance?

Put simply, insurance is an exchange of a small loss in the form of a payment to protect you from a much larger financial loss in the form of an accident. More concisely, it is a transfer of risk.

An insurance claim is when you utilize the “insurance product” you pay for to help cover your costs.

Everyone has a small risk of an accident from the moment they step foot out the door, whether it be getting into the car to go to work, leaving a burner going on the stove, catching a disease from being around so many people, you get the idea. We all know people who have been in car accidents. We all know those people who have burnt popcorn. If you’ve had to be awoken in the middle of the night for a fire alarm in college then you can definitely attest to this one. And we all know the people who make their doctors office their second home. Insurance has them covered.

What types of insurance are out there?

So many kinds! Nearly anything that is a risk in insurable.

Types of insurance and what they include

Auto insurance: typically includes property coverage (damage or theft), liability coverage (damage done to others), and medical coverage (for your own injuries).

Health insurance: covers cost of medical treatments, can include dental insurance.

Income protection insurance: can be in the form of disability or worker’s comp which protects against loss of earning in the case of a disease or injury.

Life insurance: in the case that you die (which is about 100% likely to happen), your family or other designated

Property insurance: protects against risks to property like fires, theft, and weather damage. Property insurance comes in many sub categories and you may personalize your coverage based on what you own.

So now that I know what insurance is and what it can cover, how do I get it?

Buying insurance is similar to buying clothes. The manufacturer of the clothing brand is like the insurance company. The retail shop where you actually go to buy your clothes is like the insurance agency. Now it is the job of the customer service representative, or in this case the insurance agent, to give you the best options available that fit your needs. Oh your looking for a dress for a night out? The customer service rep may hold up two dresses, one that is cheaper and may fall apart easily and the other that is more expensive but will last years. Which one will you buy? The insurance agent does something similar by comparing insurance policies from two or more different companies in order to help you pick a policy suited for your needs. Agencies can be found all over the place, all it takes is a simple google search like Anderson-Watkins Insurance, located right here in Westbrook, Maine.