What Do I Need To Get Insurance: A Detailed Guide To Insurance

Insurance is a must-buy in many countries, including the U.S. If you are wondering, ‘what do I need to get insurance?’ or ‘How much life insurance do I need?’ Here is a complete insurance guide.

In today’s era of a fast-growing economy and extreme inflation, buying insurance has become a necessity to survive high costs in every field of life. Insurance was actually introduced to help workers save their money. Now, even the highest-position office employee needs to have insurance to survive.

Many people hesitate to buy insurance policies because they consider it costly or price demanding. However, if you make the right decision while buying the insurance, you benefit more. It is essential to ask the experts and research before you fully decide to purchase insurance.

Insurance is not a waste of money but a smart way of living a happy and healthy life for yourself and your family. There are times when you might not have enough funds to afford emergency hospital expenses or car repairing costs; this is when insurance comes in handy. Many people think they can cover those emergency expenses, but you never know what situation you might end up in.

If this has convinced you to buy insurance, then continue reading the article.

Now that you have decided to apply for insurance, you might have many questions related to it, like, what do I need to get insurance or how much life insurance do I need rule of thumb.

Here is a complete guide for what do I need to get insurance:

Insurance definition

Insurance is derived from the Latin word securus, which means ‘free from care.’ There are times when we might not have anything to protect from certain situations; this is when insurance arrives at the rescue. Just as the term suggests, insurance means to take away your financial worries to afford basic necessities in life.

By definition, an insurance policy means a contract signed between the insurance provider company and an individual over some agreed terms and a premium. This premium is fixed, and you have to pay it on a monthly basis to enjoy the benefits from those terms.

Insurance is mainly of three types: health insurance, life insurance, and auto insurance. There are more specific insurance types that people buy, like pet insurance, disability coverage insurance, dental insurance, commercial insurance, business insurance, etc. All types follow the same purpose: to facilitate members with maximum benefits.

Within these types of insurance, there are tons of plans offered that you can pick based on your preferences. The insurance plan policies might confuse you because there are too many details, and each one of them is important.

For example, you want to buy life insurance, but question, what do I need to get insurance? The answer is not in one line; you need to know everything about insurance to get it.

How does insurance work?

As mentioned above, an insurance policy is an agreement signed between two parties, usually the insurance company and the individual. This contract works the same way as any other contract you sign with a company. There are certain policies and requirements you need to meet to gain benefits.

The contract prevents the individuals from suffering any financial loss over the insurance policy they signed. In other words, they ask you to pay a certain amount per month and then pool that money during an emergency situation or when you need insurance.

Why should you buy insurance?

Insurance is important to buy because it makes sure you stay on track with your monthly budget. Life is really unpredictable; any situation can force you to spend more money than intended. To make sure that you don’t cross the budget, insurance covers for the emergency.

The cost coverage depends on what type of insurance you have bought. If you buy pet insurance, you cannot expect to get health benefits for yourself.

Another reason to buy insurance is that it is a must. Some companies require employees to buy insurance at all costs. The labor is required to buy one so that in case an injury happens, the insurance can cover for them.

Personally, you should think of insurance as an investment for your or your family’s well-being. There is no point in saving up money without insurance because it will end up costing you more than with insurance.

Now that you know what insurance is and how it works, here are the types of insurance to remember.

Health insurance

If you are wondering what do I need to get insurance to cover medical costs, then the answer is health insurance.

Health insurance prevents medical financial loss for individuals and families. They require individuals to pay a monthly fee in return for discounts and benefits. Health insurance is the most common insurance bought by people belonging to various industries. Many companies give their employees medical insurance benefits.

Health is essential to stay alive and healthy. Most individuals who don’t buy health insurance avoid going to hospitals for a long time, which can sometimes lead to life-threatening results and high-cost surgeries. When you buy health insurance, you tend to get medical checkups, so you stay in touch with your body’s condition.

For ACA, health insurance is divided into metallic coverage levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Each coverage has a certain percentage, and the insurance rate is influenced by the coverage you buy. Furthermore, there are basically four health insurance plans offered by almost every insurance company in the U.S.: HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO. Each plan has its own specifications, so the individual chooses based on their medical needs.

In a busy world, taking care of your body is crucial. Insurance helps you take out time from your busy life to focus on health. Furthermore, it protects you during emergencies when you don’t have anyone to rely on.

What do you need to get health insurance?

Health insurance plans vary from company to company. In the U.S., the government also offers health insurance to citizens. The administration is partners with various insurance companies that offer plans based on government policies.

If you want to know ‘what do I need to get insurance,’ then the answer is, you don’t need much except a progressive income to pay the monthly premium. For health insurance, you need to have a certain medical condition to get one based on the plan you are buying.

For example, you can only get Medicaid insurance if you and your family belong to the low-income category. Pregnant women, elderly, and disabled people can also get health insurance in Medicaid. If you buy Covered California, you need to be disease-free and fall under the income limit set by the company.

So, the main requirements to get health insurance arranges into a few categories:


Your income should fall under the required limit to get health insurance. According to the ACA, the household income should fall under 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level to afford health insurance.

For individual health insurance, $456 is the average premium cost for a single person. If you buy family health insurance, then the average premium is around $1,152; it can increase based on how many members you have. If your income can afford this estimated cost, then you can get health insurance.

Medical condition

Health insurance plans are offered based on medical conditions. These medical conditions are calculated based on age groups. For example, a 24-year-old individual should have no chronic disease to afford an average health insurance plan. For a 50-year-old individual, it would be different.

Medical conditions vary in terms of gender as well. The premium price for females is different from males despite belonging to the same age group because of their body condition. If your body is healthy, you don’t need to get high-priced health insurance.

Disabled, children, and elderly

Disabled people, children, and the elderly need special medical attention, so the insurance plans are quite different from the rest of the individuals. Disabled people might need regular checkups or some specialized tests, so the plans are offered based on that.

Similarly, many elderly suffer from chronic disease or stay in old homes; they need medical assistance and coverage differently. For children, medical insurance varies because, in foundational years, health needs to be prioritized.

If you have decided to buy health insurance, here are things you will need to get it:

– Social security number

– Full Name

– Age

– Income slip

– Medical condition

– Family members’ personal information

Other official documents vary based on requirements set by the insurance companies.

Health insurance costs are quite high for people with families compared to individuals. An average premium cost for one person is around $438 in 2022, according to ACA. It can be less or more than this based on various medical factors and the coverage percentage one buys with their plan. For example, if a 40-year-old individual buys bronze coverage, they will pay $396 monthly; for gold, it will be $592. Similarly, if an individual buys an HMO plan, they pay $457 per month, and if they buy EPO, the premium increases to $508.

Car insurance

Buying a car, for some people, is equal to achieving success in life. The first car always has a special place in your heart because it symbolizes your blood, sweat, and tears. Therefore, it is essential to buy car insurance. If your car is the most valuable thing you own, then it is even more important.

Car insurance or auto insurance is a type of insurance that protects you from financial loss in case your vehicle is damaged. This is one of the essential insurance plans that save up a lot of money for people.

Accidents happen very often. Sometimes it is your fault; sometimes, it is another driver’s fault. During this situation, you might have to pay the driver or afford your own vehicle’s damage repair.

Insurance companies cover the cost in case your vehicle causes an injury or property damage to another person. They also cover medical bills or funeral expenses.

In case your vehicle gets stolen, vandalized, or damaged by a natural disaster, the insurance exists to cover most of the cost in exchange for a monthly premium. This saves the driver the stress of high repairing costs.

Car insurance is one of the most common policies bought by people because of its discounts and benefits. It takes away the worry of finding the right repairers because the insurance takes control of everything.

The premium amount varies based on the insurance plan you buy. There are many plans based on car brands and models from which you can choose to buy. It is essential for you to pick out the plan that covers everything and has an affordable premium.

Before you jump in to get car insurance for the first time, you should be aware of car insurance types that you can choose to buy.

Collision insurance

This plan covers the cost in case of a collision, regardless of who hit the car or an object. The insurance company affords the repairing price. Collision insurance covers an individual if they pay a certain premium. The insurance company will pay it from your cash value once you approve how much deductible you want them to cover for the collision.

Liability insurance

This insurance covers the cost in case your vehicle causes damage to someone’s property. For example, if you drive over someone’s fence, the insurance company will cover you. Other than that, if your car causes injuries to other people or needs legal defense, the insurance company will assist you. Many people choose to buy this insurance because it covers almost all situations that might occur in daily life.

Other types of plans

The above-mentioned are the most common plans in all companies. But there are other types of plans offered based on the state you live in or the insurance company you wish to buy from.

If you know what do I need to get insurance, it becomes even easier.

How to get car insurance for the first time?

Owning a car means you need to take financial responsibility for its repairs and maintenance, which is only possible if you have car insurance.

For first-time buyers, the insurance plan can cost higher than those who are already subscribed to it. This is because the experienced drivers have been part of the plan for several years while new drivers are prone to more accidents. So, if you are buying insurance for the first time, expect a high-priced premium.

There are many factors like age, gender, medical condition, etc., that can affect the premium cost to get insurance for the first time. For example, if you are 20 years old, the premium would be around $3,200. If 16, you pay $6,000.

If you are convinced to buy car insurance, make sure you have the following documents to get one:

  • Driver’s license
  • Personal information
  • Garage location where the car is parked
  • Income
  • Type of car and identification number

Other documents needed are specified by insurance companies. The most popular companies to get car insurance are State Farm, Geico, Nationwide, Travelers, and USAA.

Do you need title to get car insurance?

A car title means to own a car. When you buy a car for yourself, you have a title under your name. If you buy a car through a loan, then the lender has the car title. Some people confuse car title with registration, which is different. Car title means you have the car under your name, and registered car means it is approved legally by the government to drive on the streets.

Many companies require you to have a title to get car insurance, while some don’t require one but just a driver’s license and a car. So, yes, for a few insurance companies, you can buy a policy without having a title.

If the insurance company asks you to provide proof of ownership, you are given a minimum of 30 days to submit the documents.

If you haven’t gotten your car title, you can always get a certificate by applying for it. You have to submit personal details, proof of ownership, application, and registration fee. The fee varies from state to state, so you will have to ask for more details from your nearest DMV office.

Once you get the title, you can get car insurance from any company you want.

How much car insurance do I need?

Car insurance costs depend on various factors. You cannot simply decide how much you need by looking at your friend’s insurance plan. As mentioned above, car insurance depends on which state you live in, what type and model car you have, and what your priorities are.

Some people don’t give importance to car insurance, so they only buy the accident-only plan. In contrast, those who own expensive cars tend to buy more insurance to protect their car’s value in the market.

A perfect car insurance plan must include some of these coverages:

-Bodily injury liability

-Collision coverage

-Medical payments or personal injury protection

-Comprehensive coverage

-Property damage liability

-Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

In some states, the laws require insurance companies to include all of these coverages, while there is no hard and soft rule in some states.

Every insurance company offers different percentages for each coverage. The higher the percentage, the more you have to pay a premium for it.

According to statistics, the average cost for car insurance will be around $1,630 per year in 2022. This means that the insured individual has to pay $136 per month to get average car insurance benefits. This price will vary depending on how good of a driver the individual is; the price will increase if they have a history of at-fault wreckage. For example, a good driver with poor credit will get a $2,792 insurance rate; it will increase after a DUI.

The amount of car insurance you will need depends on how much you can afford.

Life insurance

Death is inevitable, and every individual needs to accept that truth one way or another. Have you ever wondered who will care for your family if you die suddenly? This might sound unbelievable right now, but we all know death always comes unannounced. So, what should you do to ensure your family stays financially stable even after leaving this world? The answer is to get life insurance.

Life insurance is a type of insurance policy signed between an individual and an insurance company. The company would pool the money to the beneficiaries after the signed individual passes away. The individual is supposed to pay a monthly premium, and after their death, the beneficiaries can benefit from the amount.

Life insurance has always been an important necessity for many families. There are insurance plans for single parents, parents with children, grandparents, etc. Each plan is designed accordingly.

You should be aware of ‘ what do I need to get insurance?’ to ensure you choose the right plan for yourself.

Life insurance plans usually last for 5, 10, 15 years, or a lifetime; it depends on which company you are buying from. Even if the plan’s date ends and you are still alive, you can renew it for the next few years or get some benefit.

Some of the common  plans or types of life insurance are:

Term life insurance

 Insurance plans are term-based, in which you pay only for certain years. Most people choose 10 or 20 years of term life because it’s safer. Within term life, there is the decreasing term, convertible term, and renewable term, each having some benefit, depending on your situation.

In decreasing terms, the premium amount decreases with age and time. This plan is usually not recommended for people with families because the death benefit is quite less compared to other plans.

The convertible term allows the insured person to convert their term life into permanent life insurance. So, if you are still alive after completing the term, you can convert it to permanent and continue having life insurance.

The renewable term is on a yearly basis. The premium increases every year, yet it is the cheapest because it starts at the lowest rate.

The premium cost is also influenced by a number of other factors, including gender and age. If you are a 30-year-old, you will pay around $33 per month; if you are 55 years old, you will pay $190; the term life premium increases as you age. In the case of gender, if a 30-year-old female wants a $500,000 policy face value, she will have to pay $28 for 20 years of term life. A 50 aged woman for the same policy value should pay $92 per month.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance gives the insured person the facility to pay premiums for their entire life, and beneficiaries get the death benefit once they die. Unlike term life, you don’t need to renew or complete a term; it is a lifetime plan. This type of plan is usually recommended for those who have a good income because of the expensive premium.

There are mainly two plans within permanent life insurance: whole life and universal life. Whole life insurance gives cash value to an insured person that they can use to pay the premium, while universal life insurance gives cash value through interest. In universal life, you can alternate based on how much you can pay; you can choose between a level death benefit or an increasing death benefit.

Within universal life, there are two more plans: variable universal and indexed universal. In a variable universal, you can choose to invest the cash value through a different account, and in an indexed universal, the cash value component is based on a fixed index return rate.

The cost of permanent life insurance depends on the age and gender of the insured person. For a $500,000 universal life, A 35-year-old man has to pay $4,400 a year. Similarly, if a 50 year-old-man wants a $500,000 death benefit, he will pay $430 a year for 20 years.

How much life insurance do I need, rule of thumb?

The rule of thumb to buy enough life insurance is usually ten times your annual salary with a total death benefit. This rule is highly effective and gives beneficiaries financial stability for a long time. Your beneficiaries receive the death benefit after you pass away.

Since there are many insurance companies that offer tons of plans, you need to adopt a simple rule of thumb. Furthermore, tax payments and salary reductions can influence the amount when you buy life insurance. So, get the insurance that makes life simple for you and your family.

When you get insurance without following the rule of thumb, you get tangled in a web of calculations and estimations to see how much your beneficiaries can survive. The ten times rule makes it easier. This rule of thumb is 100% authentic.

After your death, the insurance agents are responsible for providing your family with death benefits. When you follow this rule of thumb, the estimated amount for the death benefit is ten times more than your salary, so your beneficiaries feel relieved financially.

However, the rule of thumb shouldn’t be taken too seriously because not everyone can afford this rule, or their family’s situation might not suit it. So, it is better to buy insurance after doing precise calculations.

How much life insurance do I need?

If you are still unsure about what do I need to get insurance or ‘how much life insurance do I need,’ simply look at your current circumstances. You need to do accurate calculations for an estimated amount, minus the reductions. First, look at how many beneficiaries you have, their status, whether they are college-going students or office workers.

The beneficiary needs to matter a lot to decide how much life insurance you need to buy for them. If they are financially independent, you might buy a cheaper premium plan; if they are college students, buy an expensive plan.

Furthermore, it also depends on your income. Insurance companies always look at your income before giving you plans. This ensures you can afford the monthly fee easily.

Bonus: common insurance policy terms

Insurance policy has some special terms that are used everywhere around the world. You should know the meaning behind these terms before you get insurance.

  • Premium: Premium is a certain amount an insured person has to pay on a monthly basis to receive insurance benefits. For example, if you buy a health insurance plan, you pay the monthly fee to receive medical benefits when you visit the hospital.
  • Deductible: Deductible is the amount you pay from your wallet before the insurance covers the remaining cost. For example, if the insurance offers a $2,000 deductible, then you have to pay $2,000 worth of covered services, then insurance pays all the expenses.
  • Copayment: Copayment is the amount you pay after deductible. It is a fixed amount you have to pay; the rest is covered by insurance. For example, if a medical checkup is $100 and the fixed amount is $20, then you will only pay $20, the remaining amount insurance will pay.
  • Coinsurance: Coinsurance is the same as a copayment, but instead of amount, there is a certain percentage set by insurance. After you pay the deductible, you pay this percentage amount, the remaining percentage insurance covers. For example, in case you got into an accident, as an insured person, you will first pay the deductible, then the insurance company will cover 80%, you will pay the rest 20%.
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: Out-of-pocket maximum is a limit that you have to reach, after which the insurance company pays the rest of the amount. Many people confuse deductibles with out-of-pocket, but they’re both different. The insured person has to spend all copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. After that, the out-of-pocket maximum is reached. For example, if a person has a health insurance of $2,000 deductible and $5,000 out-of-pocket maximum. Once they reach the limit of $5,000 after paying through copayment, coinsurance, and deductible, then the rest of the medical expenses will be covered by the insurance company.
  • Claim: Claim is a demand by a policyholder or outsider from an insurance agency for remuneration of losses covered by insurance.
  • Agreed value: Agreed Value is a vehicle’s worth established by the insurance company and insured person. This agreed value determines the compensation an insured person will get if they need one.
  • Market value: The demand of a vehicle, property, or any insured item in the market to determine its compensation limit. For example, if you own an old car, the compensation limit will be based on the car’s condition, age, and model.

How to apply for insurance?

After reading the article, we hope your question to ‘what do I need to get insurance’ is answered. You can now apply for insurance without getting confused over the basic stuff.

Here are ways to apply for insurance:

Insurance agent

Insurance agents are available across the country to help you decide which plan or company is the best option for you in every area and state. They look at your income status, marital status, medical condition, and financial budget to pick out insurance companies where you can apply.

Although they ask for a certain commission, if you hire a private insurance agent, they provide the best service. Agents are especially helpful for those confused about insurance, and they also handle all the procedures for you.

Apply online

Almost all insurance companies have a website and online application system. You just fill out your details, upload soft copies of official documents, and submit. It is that easy and time-saving for busy people.

Some websites will allow you to pick the plan from the website, while others call you and ask for verifications before offering plans. It depends on which insurance company you are applying to.

Apply through phone

Insurance companies have a certain timing schedule when you can call them to learn about their plans and apply through your phone. Make sure to keep official documents near so that you can provide them with needed information quickly and save time.

Either you can call them yourself or fill out the application form and wait for them to call you.

Final words

Insurance offers you the perfect life you always dreamt of. Through insurance, you save up money to buy important things and remain on budget even if there is an emergency.

Life is full of unexpected events, and insurance gives you the strength to face them. Insurance is more than just your financial dependence; it is also a way to safeguard your earnings for a better present and future.

‘What do I need to get insurance?’ The answer is simple: personal information, income status, and health condition. Once you have these in your hand; and a few other documents, you are ready to buy insurance any time.

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.