Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Is dental insurance worth it

Some types of insurance such as health insurance are an obvious must-have for most. But when it comes to dental insurance, the answer is less decisive. Which can leave you wondering: Is dental insurance worth it?

Let’s explore the details of dental insurance so that you can decide whether or not it is the right fit for your mouth and your budget.

How much does dental insurance cost?

So, the big question – how much does dental insurance cost? As with all insurance costs, the amount you pay will vary widely based on your area, insurance provider, and preexisting conditions.

Typical dental premiums can range from $20 to $50 per month for an individual or $50 to $150 per year for a family.  That amounts to $240 to $1,800, which will vary based on your dependent and the type of plan you can access. In any case, that cost could significantly impact your budget.

It’s easy to see how dental insurance could take a bite out of any budget. 

What does a dental premium cover?

The exact coverage your dental insurance plan offers will vary based on your individual plan. But there are some general coverage guidelines you can expect to see. There is a breakdown of coverage with the average plan into three distinct parts — preventative care, basic procedures, and major procedures.

So, what’s covered? In many cases, preventative care is 100% covered. This coverage might include the cost of regular cleaning and exams to check on your dental health each year. For most, regular cleanings equate to two covered cleanings per year.

Next up are basic procedures. Although these aren’t entirely covered, you’ll typically only need to pay 20% to 30% of the cost. Since the cost of a filing to typically well over $100, having dental insurance could come in handy.

Last but not least, dental insurance will help you out with major procedures. Although most insurance plans cover just 50% or less of the cost, that could still save you hundreds of dollars.

What are the different types of dental plans to choose from

The coverage and flexibility you have in your dental insurance plan will vary widely. One of the biggest factors is the type of plan you choose. And the type of plan will dramatically impact whether or not dental insurance is worth it.

Here are the three different types of dental plans to choose from:

Fee-for-service plans

A fee-for-service plan, or indemnity plan, allows you to work with any dental provider. The insurer will cover a percentage of the fee. The ability to choose your own provider is a big win for many.

This is especially true if you already have a dentist you like that isn’t available through your PPO and HMO options. But the cost of these premiums is often much higher than the other plans.

Preferred provider organization plans

A PPO, or Preferred Provider Organization plan, offers you a better price if you stick with an in-network provider. Although you aren’t required to see a preferred provider, you’ll be able to save on costs if you stick to the list.

You are able to seek care from an out-of-network provider if you want to. But you’ll have to pay more when you see them. Plus, many of these plans come with a maximum reimbursement amount for out-of-network visits each year.

With a PPO, you have the best of both worlds. You’ll have choices in your providers. But you won’t have to overpay for a visit.

Health maintenance organization plans

Finally, there are HMO or Health Maintenance Organization plans. An HMO will require you to visit dentists within their insurance network. If you are comfortable with limited providers, the cost savings of this plan are exceptional.

Before you dive into an HMO dental plan, I highly recommend checking out the list of providers. Unfortunately, the list can be very limited. Although the cost savings potential is high, you might miss out on the chance to work with a dentist you feel comfortable with.

How to get the most out of dental insurance

The decision of whether or not dental insurance is worth it will vary based on your situation. But if you decide to go with insurance, it is a smart move to think ahead. Consider asking your current dentist what procedures are on your horizon. With an idea of the type of dental work you’ll need in the future, you can seek out a plan that works best for your needs.

But of course, there is always the possibility that you’ll have an unexpected dental procedure that might not be covered. As with all insurances, keep your personal risk tolerance in mind. If you want to avoid a major expense, you might decide to go with more comprehensive dental coverage.

Once you have your dental coverage in place, take some time to pursue the directory of providers. You can seek the best dentists in your network to save on costs without skimping on quality.

What do dental services cost without insurance?

The costs of dental services without insurance will vary based on your state and provider. But regardless of where you live, the expenses can add up quickly.

Here’s a look at some of the costs for the most common dental services:

  • Basic cleaning: $75 to $200
  • Dental x-rays: $100 to $250
  • Amalgam filling: $50 to $150
  • Tooth-colored filling: $90 to $250
  • Gold filling: $350 to $4,500
  • Dental crown: $500 to $2,000
  • Tooth extraction: $75 to $800
  • Root canal: $500 to $1,500

Depending on your dental needs, these costs can pile up.

Is dental insurance worth it and should you have it?

So, is dental insurance worth it? The answer to whether or not dental insurance is worth it will vary based on your unique situation. (Kind of like renters insurance.) The only way to find out is to dig into the numbers for your particular area. Take some time to compare the costs of services in your area to the cost of a dental insurance plan.

In some cases, you might come out ahead with the basic cleanings and X-rays. In others, dental insurance premiums can cancel out the cost of savings. But you’ll need to do a little bit of digging around about the dental costs in your area to find out.

If you decide to go without dental insurance, then I highly recommend ensuring your emergency fund is fully stashed. Although you might not run into any unexpected dental expenses, you never know when you’ll need to visit a dentist for a tooth-related emergency. Need help building out an emergency fund? Check out our quick guide. 

Dental insurance can be worth it when needed!

Dental insurance can be helpful when facing major dental costs. But you’ll need to weigh the costs in your area to decide if the premiums are worth it. Remember to try to check with in-network providers to save on costs and choose the plan that’s best for you and your budget.

Learn how to create a budget that includes all of your expenses (including dental insurance) with our completely free budgeting course! For more financial guidance and tips, tune in to the Clever Girls Know podcast and YouTube channel!

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What Is Credit Life Insurance?

Credit life insurance

Have you ever borrowed money to buy a house or a car? You were probably offered credit life insurance. Credit life insurance is an insurance policy that pays off a loan in the event that the borrower passes away. Lenders usually offer it for home mortgages, car loans, and student loans. You can sometimes get it with regular personal loans, too.

It is beneficial for some, and an unnecessary cost for others. However, if you’re thinking about buying it, here’s what you should know first.

How credit life insurance works

Despite the name, it doesn’t work like regular life insurance. If you’re paying off a loan and you unexpectedly pass away during the repayment period, it will automatically pay off the remaining balance.

In this case, your lender works with the insurance provider to get the money back. There is no penalty to your next of kin. Also, when you buy it, you get guaranteed coverage. Meaning, you don’t need to take a medical exam—or even answer any medical questions—to get this type of coverage.

Because it is not medically underwritten, it’s more expensive than traditional life insurance policies. The cost of it depends on how much money you borrow and other coverage details.

Is credit life insurance a requirement?

Credit life insurance is always optional. When you borrow money, your lender cannot require you to buy it. However, declining it can put your spouse or joint borrower at risk to assume your debt if something were to happen to you.

Who needs credit life insurance?

Credit life insurance is not incredibly common, and many borrowers view it as an added expense that is not worth a higher monthly payment. But in reality, it can be beneficial in some situations, because the unexpected can and does occur.

For example, a loan is not always forgiven when you die. As a result, it can be particularly beneficial for borrowers who do not want to burden their loved ones with loan payments if they were to pass away.

It can also be a good choice if a family member or friend has co-signed a loan with you. If you passed away, that co-signer then becomes responsible for the unpaid balance on the loan. However, with credit life insurance, the co-signer does not take over the payments.

When deciding whether to purchase it, also think about where you live. If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin, you live in a community property state.

This basically mean married couples equally own any assets and owe any debts, regardless of who earns or spends the income. For married individuals, your spouse is responsible for your debts in the event of your death. Credit life insurance can pay off the balance of a loan so your spouse doesn’t have to.

Pros of credit life insurance

Credit life insurance offers a few advantages that may be enticing to certain borrowers. Some of the biggest benefits include:

Peace of mind

The main reason to get this type of insurance is to protect your loved ones from assuming your loan debt if you unexpectedly pass away. This provides peace of mind for you, and for them.

This is also especially important if you are the breadwinner of the household because the debt could become a big financial burden to the ones you leave behind.

No medical exam

Anyone can automatically qualify for credit life insurance because there is no medical exam and no health questions asked. That’s an important advantage if you have health problems or pre-existing conditions that could make it difficult or expensive for you to buy other types of life insurance.

Easy monthly payments

Lenders can have your premium included in your monthly loan payment. That makes it convenient for you because there is no separate insurance payment to make each month.

Cons of credit life insurance

Credit life insurance has several notable disadvantages. Before you choose to purchase this type of coverage, it’s important to think about what potential downsides it has. Here are some of the cons to consider before purchasing it:

More expensive than other forms of life insurance

With a credit life insurance policy, any borrower qualifies for coverage. That’s good news for borrowers with health conditions, but that means the cost of it is typically more expensive than other types of life insurance.

Your loan amount decreases but your premiums don’t

Credit life insurance premiums stay the same until your loan is paid off. Therefore, you pay the same amount each month even though your loan balance decreases every month.

It only pays off the loan if you pass away

The only time credit life insurance applies is if you pass away during the repayment period. If you lose your job or become disabled and are unable to work, this policy doesn’t apply.

However, there are other types of credit insurance that will cover your loan payments in these circumstances, such as credit disability insurance. This type of disability insurance helps to cover your loan payments if you become disabled and are out of work with limited income.

Do I need credit life insurance if I have traditional life insurance?

Credit life insurance and traditional life insurance, like term life or whole life, are completely different, but they serve a similar purpose—to provide financial protection in the event of your death.

Credit life insurance will specifically pay off your loan if you pass away. With traditional life insurance, your beneficiary (typically a family member) receives a fixed amount of money after you pass away, called a death benefit. The beneficiary does not pay taxes on the money, and it can be used for any purpose.

If you were to pass away with outstanding debt, your beneficiary could use the money from your life insurance policy to repay the loan if they took over your payments. However, that would lessen the amount of money available to use for other necessary expenses, like funeral costs or income replacement.

Ultimately, credit life insurance does not replace traditional life insurance. If you already have regular life insurance, credit life insurance is still worth considering. This is especially true depending on how much life insurance coverage you have, and the size of the loan you need to repay.

Consider credit life insurance if it’s right for you

If you borrow money and have the opportunity to buy credit life insurance, think about the pros and cons of this type of insurance. It can be a good option if you want to protect your survivors from your financial burdens in the event of your death.

However, keep in mind that it can be more expensive than other types of life insurance. Plus, you won’t get any protection if you become unable to make the payments, such as in the event that you become disabled.

If you don’t already have regular life insurance, it might be worth purchasing a policy with enough coverage to satisfy your loan in the event of your death. That way, your loved ones won’t have to use their own savings to repay what you still owe.

Learn everything you need to know about life insurance with our completely free course! Also, subscribe to our YouTube channel and Clever Girls Know podcast for more top financial tips!

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Do I Need Credit Disability Insurance?

Credit Disability Insurance

If you’ve ever applied for a personal loan, your lender probably offered to sell you credit disability insurance. While it might seem like an unnecessary cost, it can come in handy if you become sick or disabled and lose your income. Most people assume they’ll never be affected by a disability, but in reality, everyone is at risk of becoming disabled.

Data shows that 5% of working Americans are affected by a short-term disability each year, and only 40% have enough savings to cover at least three months of regular expenses.

While not everyone needs credit disability insurance, some people should consider it. This article will explain what it is, what it covers, and who needs it.

What is credit disability insurance?

Credit disability insurance is an optional insurance policy that is often available when you take out a personal loan. If you become disabled, it helps to cover your loan payments while you are out of work and have limited income. If you choose to purchase credit disability insurance, there are several ways you can pay for it.

The cost might be added to the principal of your loan, which is the amount of money you’re borrowing. Paying for credit disability insurance this way can be more expensive because you end up paying interest on the cost of the insurance policy.

Another option is to pay for it in monthly installments over the lifetime of your loan. If you choose to pay monthly, your premium will decrease as you pay off the loan balance. Before you can purchase credit disability insurance, you must also meet certain requirements.

For example, many lenders only offer this type of insurance to borrowers who work more than 25-hours per week and are under the age of 70. Every lending company and/or insurance company has different criteria.

How does credit disability insurance work?

Credit disability insurance can be purchased through your lender when you take out a personal loan. If you become disabled and are unable to work, you can file a claim and ask your insurance company to cover your loan payments. There are several important things to know about it.

First, you can’t get unlimited benefits. Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, your insurance company will cover your loan payments up to a certain dollar value or over a specified period of time.

Also, there might be a waiting period until you can use your coverage. Some insurance companies will only agree to cover your loan payments if you’ve been consistently paying off your loan balance for a certain amount of time, like 90 days.

What disabilities qualify for coverage?

In order to use credit disability insurance, you must have a qualifying disability that prevents you from working in any capacity. Usually, your lender or the insurance carrier will request to see medical proof of a disability from a doctor or your employer.

While every lender has different covered disabilities, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Childbirth complications
  • Cancer
  • Physical injury
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Remember that credit disability insurance will only cover your loan payments up to a certain amount or over a fixed period of time. Meaning, if you have an injury or illness that is expected to keep you out of work for six months or longer, it’s possible that your benefits will run out before you return to work.

Pros and cons of credit disability insurance

Credit disability insurance can be a life-saver for many people. However, it also has several downsides. Before you choose to purchase, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons to help you make a decision.


Let’s dive into the pros of having this type of insurance and how you will benefit from it:

Protect your family financially

Data shows that more than half of American adults live paycheck-to-paycheck. And without a steady income, making your loan payments can be challenging, especially if you have other financial obligations. With credit disability insurance, you can continue to financially support your loved ones without assuming more debt.

Peace of mind

If you become disabled, credit disability insurance can offer peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about defaulting on your loan or ruining your credit score if you can’t afford to keep up with the payments. Plus, you can put more money towards medical bills, rather than spending that money on your loan.


We’ve said it before, and we will say it again there are cons to pretty much anything. Here are a couple of cons to this type of insurance:

Limited coverage

Credit disability insurance will only pay up to a certain dollar value, or a specific number of loan payments. If you are disabled for a long period of time, it’s likely that your benefits will eventually run out. In addition, there’s usually a waiting period before you can use this policy.

Potentially expensive

In terms of cost, it can be pricey, particularly if you add the premium to your loan principal. Remember, if you go that route, you not only pay for the insurance but will also be paying interest on that amount. So make sure you know how much it will cost before you buy it.

Who needs credit disability insurance?

Consider this: More than one in four 20-year-olds today will suffer from a disability at some point before they retire. With that being said, almost everyone can benefit from having credit disability insurance. Regardless of your age, health status, or occupation, major injuries, and serious illnesses can prevent you from working and bringing home a consistent income.

It can be especially helpful if you provide financial support for your family. If you’re unable to work and you’re paying off a personal loan, insurance can cover your loan payments, so you’re not sacrificing your lifestyle or dipping into your savings.

However, it is typically more beneficial if you have a long repayment period, like 60 months. If you are paying off your loan over 24 or 36 months, you could have a smaller chance of becoming disabled during that time. But at the end of the day, you choose the amount of risk you are comfortable taking.

Is credit disability insurance worth it?

Overall, the decision to purchase credit disability insurance is personal. It’s worth it for some people, and not worth it for others. But if you want the added peace of mind, it is certainly something to look into.

You might also be wondering if credit disability insurance is necessary if you have short-term disability insurance through your employer. The answer is—it depends. Short-term disability insurance replaces your income while you are unable to work due to a qualifying disability. You can use the money from disability benefits for any reason, including making loan payments.

However, the combination of short-term disability insurance and credit disability insurance gives you the greatest financial benefit. The income you get through disability insurance doesn’t need to be spent on loan payments if you have credit disability insurance, which ultimately puts more money into your pocket.

Protect your finances with credit disability insurance

The saying goes it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You never know what life may throw your way, so why not protect yourself with the right type of insurance. This can prevent you from defaulting on your loan and ruining your credit too. Just make sure you understand what the policy covers and how much it costs before you buy it.

Learn more about getting your finances in order with our completely free “Build a solid foundation course!” You will learn how to transform your money mindset, organize your finances, create financial goals, and make a customized budget. Also, tune in to the Clever Girls Know podcast and YouTube channel for more great financial tips and hacks.

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