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You can buy insurance for almost anything you wish. The question is… what insurance do you really need? And how do you know how much coverage to buy?

There is a simple rule of thumb to help you answer these questions: Insure what you cannot afford to replace. In other words, you probably want renter’s insurance so that if everything in your apartment was stolen you could start over. But that $400 television set?  Well, you could do without that for a while if necessary. Generally speaking, you can skip insurance on small items and electronics (like your cell phone).

You need to have home, auto, and health insurance. We also recommend a life insurance policy. You’ll want enough life insurance coverage to be able to replace 7-10 years of your salary. If you have young children or large debts life insurance is especially important.

Many people skip disability insurance, but you’ll want to make this decision carefully. Your income is your largest asset. You need to protect it in the same way you would other large assets.

Finally, using the ‘what you can’t afford to replace’ guideline may help you decide the level of coverage you need as well. If you can afford to select a higher deductible for your auto and home insurance, you may save on monthly premiums.