Raising a family can be just as scary as it is fulfilling when you start thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. Of course, dwelling on such negative outcomes is never a good idea, but preparing for them is certainly worthwhile, and the best thing you can do to make sure you’re financially prepared to deal with a disaster is to have a well-rounded collection of insurance policies.

In many cases, your employer will provide the basic insurance you’ll need, but there are a few kinds of insurance that are worth having which you’ll need to secure for yourself. While you don’t necessarily need all of the insurance types mentioned below, learning about them will help you understand which combination of policies would best suit your family’s needs.

1.     Life Insurance

While it can be a difficult scenario to ponder, if the head of the household or one of the income earners becomes deceased, the future of the younger generation and dependents could be at risk. Thus, having a comprehensive life insurance policy is a necessary step to take if you want to make sure that all of your hard work is going towards the purpose of bettering your loved ones’ futures. When comparing plans, it’s important to do your research and understand the different types of life insurance policies by querying questions like “which is better term or whole life insurance?”

2.     Health Insurance

Health insurance is often provided by your employer, but there may be limits on the type of coverage it can provide. To make sure your entire family has extensive health coverage, you may need to purchase your own plan and consult with an insurance specialist who can recommend the right products for your household. If your current employer does not provide health insurance, it may be a good idea to advance your career by looking for an employer that will provide these benefits going forward, as that would keep you from having to pay for it out of pocket for years to come.

3.     Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is another policy type that is often provided by employers, but once again there could be coverage limits that make it a wiser move to secure your own plan instead. Examining your coverage details and comparing quotes from insurance providers will help you determine whether it’s worth it to start paying for your own policy. Family dental insurance is typically one of the more affordable insurance types on this list, and it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re a large family with multiple children.

4.     Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Whether you rent or own your home, you’ll want to have some sort of insurance policy to cover the value of your belongings and property in the event of theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or other mishaps. Although you may not be able to get the items back or replace their sentimental value, at least with a homeowner’s or renters’ insurance policy you’ll be able to cover the financial cost of replacing and repairing everything after the fact. Of course, as a large family you probably have more belongings and a larger house than the average policy holder, so unfortunately you should expect your rates to be slightly higher.

5.     Auto Insurance

Automobile insurance is one of those obvious types of insurance that everybody needs to have because driving without it is not only risky but also illegal in most places. However, the process of comparing quotes and choosing the right plan is not so obvious, as many people overlook the comparison phase altogether and simply opt for a brand name that they’re familiar with. While shopping with lesser known insurance companies can be intimidating, there are many reputable providers that offer comparable plans at competitive prices.

6.     Coverage for Extra Valuables

If you have expensive or luxury items that would cost a lot of money to replace, such as jewelry or specialty furniture, it might make sense to acquire an extra valuable insurance plan. You may be able to add a clause to your existing renters or homeowner’s insurance policy to cover such items. This kind of insurance can be rather costly, but if you have enough money to buy a lot of highly priced items for your family then chances are you’ll be able to afford extra valuables coverage as well.

7.     Pet Insurance

If you have a family pet, you’ll want to make sure it is fully insured so that you can get some assistance if you ever encounter a large vet bill. Although we all hope that our pets will never encounter such a fate, it helps to have some financial backing just in case you wind up facing thousands in medical expenses to save your sick dog or cat. Unlike health insurance, pet insurance usually reimburses for covered expenses as opposed to contracting with veterinary offices.

8.     Disaster Insurance

Even if you have homeowner’s insurance or a renter’s insurance policy, there’s a good chance that certain natural disasters won’t be covered. If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, or flooding, you may need to obtain a separate insurance policy specifically to prepare for the financial cost of having to rebuild after such disasters. Usually your insurance agent will recommend such policies when you obtain a homeowners or renters insurance policy.

A Final Note on Using Umbrella Coverage to Fill in the Gaps

Finally, you may also want to have an umbrella insurance policy to cover any of the coverage gaps that your other policies don’t account for. This type of insurance can also help provide additional financial assistance when you’ve reached the limit or cap that another plan will pay out.

For example if you have an auto insurance plan that has a liability limit of $250,000 and you’re held liable for property/medical damages worth $500,000, the umbrella insurance could cover the excess that your auto insurance wouldn’t. Although this is an optional type of insurance to have, it helps to have it on hand if you ever encounter excessive losses or liabilities that aren’t completely covered by your other insurance plans.