insurance

14 useless insurance policies

2. Automobile collision 
Auto collision covers the cost of repairing your vehicle in the event of an accident. If you lease or finance your ride, you likely are required to carry it.

But many drivers jump the curb by needlessly carrying a low deductible, which increases your premium. Hungelmann says any deductible below about $1,000 is likely wasteful, especially on an older vehicle.

Also, if you can afford to pay for repairs yourself, steer away from collision coverage.

This is especially good advice if you have driving while under the influence, or DWI infractions, or other tickets or accidents on your records, or if you are insuring a young male driver. In such situations, you are unlikely to want to turn in a small claim anyway.

"So if you're not going to turn it in, why pay for it?" Hungelmann says.

3. Automobile medical 
Most states require a minimal amount of automobile medical coverage, which covers you and your family for injuries or death in an auto accident.

Given that you have health coverage, the chief reason not to buy more than the required minimum is that, in most states, health insurance is secondary to auto medical.

That means that in the event of an accident, any additional auto medical coverage you have will actually go toward letting your health insurer off the hook for the bill.

4. Cancer/dreaded disease insurance 
You can take out a life insurance policy that pays if you die from a short list of specific diseases, such as cancer.

However, this is a little like betting a specific number on a roulette wheel, rather than on red or black: The chances of hitting it are slim.

Better to put that money toward a term life policy that covers you for a wider range of dire ends.

5. Credit card insurance 
Don't pay even a few bucks a month for a policy that pays off your credit card debt should you lose your job, become disabled or drop dead.

Instead, your money would be better spent on staying out of credit card debt altogether, or insuring against those possibilities directly.

"If you die, who do you want to get paid -- your spouse or your credit card company?" says Hillebrand. "And the unemployment policies often don't repay the whole balance -- they only make the minimum payment."

6. Credit card fraud insurance 
For all the come-ons to insure your credit card against fraud, you would think that the federal government hadn't enacted a $50-per-card cardholder liability limit on purchases made with a stolen card. But it has.

What's more, many banks and card issuers have adopted a zero-liability policy to keep you happy and spending.

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"Your credit card company helps create the fraud problem by not being careful about monitoring activity, and then they're selling you insurance for it? That seems wrong," says Hillebrand. "You really do not need to be paying extra for fraud insurance. Just read your statements carefully and make a fuss in writing if you see something wrong there."

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