As a new educator, you should at least have health, dental, vision, renter's (or homeowner's) and auto insurance coverage if you drive. Also consider disability insurance. CTA chapters have bargained good contracts that include a comprehensive program that includes medical, dental, vision and some basic life insurance coverage.
Health and disability coverage are particularly important now, since your health and ability to earn an income at this age are paramount. Some districts provide some level of employer-paid life insurance coverage, but you may need more. Consider if you need supplemental life insurance. You can purchase it on your own, or buy supplemental coverage from the district's carrier. In addition, CTA offers supplementary life insurance you may want to consider. CTA also offers voluntary disability coverage.
Planning a Family?
If you're thinking about adding to or starting your family, how will you cover expenses during your unpaid time off due to pregnancy? Although you may not think of pregnancy as a disability, it is a covered condition under most disability insurance policies, including CTA's voluntary disability plan. Be sure to purchase disability insurance before you need it. You can apply for CTA's disability plan at any time, and there are several open enrollment opportunities that do not require evidence of good health. Click here to learn more.
Protect Your Possessions
Renter's (or homeowner's) insurance will protect you if your personal property is destroyed, damaged or stolen. Even if your property assets seem minimal, it's smart protection. Many young educators purchase auto or home coverage from their parent's insurance company. Be sure to check out CTA's program, which offers discounts for educators.
Added responsibilities – marriage and children especially – mean ensuring that those you care for are protected. Continue not only with the insurance policies of your youth, but also consider adding life and liability coverage.
Life insurance is designed to provide income for those whose financial security is tied to you – your spouse, children or other dependent relatives. Life insurance comes in many types; generally, term insurance enables you to purchase more coverage for each premium dollar. What's most important is calculating the exact amount of coverage you'll need.
Purchasing life insurance for a nonworking spouse or domestic partner may also make sense for expenses such as child care, burial expense, housework and chauffeuring children that may need to be covered if the non-income-earning spouse or domestic partner passes away. This coverage is often referred to as Spousal Coverage and can extend to your domestic partner. For example, the CTA life insurance plan allows CTA insured members to apply for spouse/domestic partner coverage up to 50% of the members' life insurance amount up to certain limits.
Liability insurance (also called umbrella coverage) protects you beyond the limits of your homeowner's and automobile liability coverage.
Empty Nesters and Retired Educators
At this stage, you'll want to consider long-term care insurance (designed to pay for custodial care, if you someday need it), health care and prescription coverage, and potentially 'Medigap' coverage (Medicare supplemental insurance).
The costs and terms of these policies vary widely, so it pays to shop around.
A Lifetime of Coverage
No matter the type of insurance you buy, think of it as a "security blanket" for your life, providing you with continuous financial protection. With luck, you'll rarely need to collect on your insurance, but you'll rest better knowing it's there.