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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


More and more people are buying insurance directly from insurance companies, often online. While this can sometimes be cheapest and most efficient, you should not overlook the advantages of using a personal contact to buy insurance. A professional can help you choose the best coverage for you given the totality of your situation. Professionals can also be very valuable in the event of a loss.

Professionals to consider are:

  • Independent insurance brokers ( professionals who work on your behalf but are paid by the insurance company) 
  • Insurance agents (professionals who work with and are paid by a particular insurance company) 
  • Financial planners
  • Professional insurance consultants who can be hired for a fee. Professional insurance consultants are usually used by businesses instead of for personal insurance. They may provide advice about personal insurance as part of their advice to businesses.

We urge you to at least consult with an insurance broker or financial planner if:

  • You are unsure what type(s) of insurance you need, if any.
  • Your situation is complex.
  • You ahve submitted one or more claims in the last three years.

For more information, see:

For information about choose a broker, see:

Why Use An Independent Insurance Broker?

Insurance brokers can be helpful in the process of purchasing insurance.

  • Brokers can help identify the coverages you need and in what amount.
  • Brokers are available to answer your questions as they arise.
  • Independent insurance brokers are paid a commission from the insurance company on the policies you purchase. However, brokers are legally bound to work solely in your interest, even though their compensation is from the insurance company.

Homeowners, Automobile and Other Property and Casualty Insurance:

  • A broker should know which companies in your area sell the insurance you need at the lowest sot, or with the best combination of price and service to fit your needs.
  • A broker can help determine the appropriate deductible for you.
  • A broker can give you information on the financial and claims reputation of various companies. If the information is about companies the broker doesn't represent, verify it -- particularly information about companies which sell insurance directly to the public without use of brokers.
  • If there is a property and casualty claim (for example, under your automobile or homeowners insurance policy), a broker can help in the claims process.
    • A broker can let you know when it's in your best interest not to file a claim.
    • A broker, can put the wording of the claim in the best light for insurance purposes as well as avoid saying things that could ultimately be harmful to your interests.
    • A broker can help advise you about what steps you have to take and when to maximize what you receive -- as well as what NOT to do.
    • A broker can push the insurance company to be sure you are treated fairly with reasonable compensation for your loss. Insurance brokers can also advise you when it makes sense to hire your own loss evaluator (known as an "adjustor") to maximize the amount you receive.

Life insurance:

  • A broker should know which companies in your area sell the type of life insurance that would best suit your needs and accept a health condition like yours, at the lowest cost.
  • A broker can approach a life insurance company informally, describing your health condition. He or she can obtain an informal answer whether you would be an acceptable candidate for insurance from the company, what type of policy would be issued, and the approximate premium. Since the answers are informal, you can't bank on them - but  unless there are facts not disclosed to the insurance company, the odds are the policy will be issued as stated.
  • A broker can help advise on the best method of owning the policy if your estate is subject to estate tax.
  • A broker can help make sure your beneficiary designation get the proceeds to the person or people you intend, when you intend it.

Health Insurance, Disability Income Insurance and Long Term Care Insurance:

  • A broker can also help save time by steering you to companies that are willing to work with people with your health history.
  • In the event of a dispute about a payment of a claim, a broker can help you position the facts to make it more likely that the insurance company will pay.
  • If you are interested in purchasing individual health insurance, we have a separate article about Health Insurance brokers.

On the downside, you may run into an unscrupulous broker who puts his or her own financial interest ahead of yours. It's why it's important to choose a broker wisely.

Why Might I Use An Insurance Agent?

Insurance agents, by definition, sell insurance only for their company.

You could consider using an agent if you've already researched and identified what company you want to use but would like to have personal service available should you need it. You can also contact agents to get quotes on insurance products from a particular insurance company.

Don't be surprised if an agent tries to pressure you to buy insurance from his or her company.

Should I Use A Financial Planner To Help Me Buy Insurance?

If you need help defining your insurance needs, consider consulting a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), especially someone who has experience working with people with health conditions.

Licensed CFPs are trained to look at your whole financial picture, including recommending specific amounts and types of insurance you need to protect you from economic loss.

If you use a CFP who receives commissions, you will not have to pay out of pocket. However, while CFP's would violate their code of ethics to recommend insurance you do not need, you may still be left with doubts that the planner cared more about their commission than your need. 

On the other hand, if you use a financial planner who charges fees instead of commissions, the charges could add up. There is time involved in collecting the necessary information from you, doing a thorough needs analysis, and a sweep of the market. You can help reduce the fees by having a speaking knowledge of the insurance in which you're interested.

NOTE: If a particular financial planner does not have access to as many insurance companies as an independent insurance broker, you may not get the best deal on your coverage.