4 Insurance-Policy Add-ons Worth the Money

Add valuable coverage to your auto and homeowners insurance.

A few inexpensive add-ons can add valuable coverage to your auto and homeowners insurance.

1. For your auto insurance, consider roadside assistance. For $3 to $12 every six months (versus $52 per year for AAA), you can get lockout service, towing, jump starts, and flat-tire fixes, says Cadie Patrizz, an independent insurance agent in Tarzana, California.

Great Deals on Practically Everything

2. Rental reimbursement can be worthwhile if you need a car while yours is being repaired (repairs must be due to a covered loss).

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Mercury Insurance, for example, charges $20 every six months to provide up to $40 per day for a rental car while yours is being repaired, for a maximum of 30 days, says Patrizz. (Specifics vary by location.)

3. Medical payments coverage takes care of medical and ambulance bills for you and your passengers. It may duplicate health insurance, but it can fill in some gaps if you have a high-deductible policy.

You’ll pay about $19 every six months for $5,000 in coverage, says Patrizz.

4. For homeowners, coverage for sewage backup is a big gap in most policies — leaving you to pay thousands of dollars to clean up nasty damage caused by water and sewage that backs up into your house. But you can often pay about $50 per year to get $10,000 to $25,000 in coverage.

Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.