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Insurance center

Insurance is the kind of necessity that's difficult to appreciate when you're buying and paying for it. Oddly, you're glad if you never have to use it, but you're grateful when it's there to help cover the loss associated with fire, accident, illness (and, of course, death), or other calamities. The delayed payoff of this product is why insurance agents joke that insurance is not bought so much as it's sold. And the sell-dependent nature of insurance is why you need to stay on your toes.

The watchwords for this asset-protecting financial necessity are: Shop, shop, shop for the best price. Luckily, there are many ways to save, but lots of details to sort through. Here's your essential reading for wisely buying the major types of coverage plus our advice about some of the less-necessary protections that are available.

Ask our Insurance Guy

Do you have an insurance problem you can't solve? Are you vexed by a question about insurance? Ask The Insurance Guy, Jeff Blyskal, for help. Send an email to: InsuranceGuy [at] He'll review your request for possible publication in Consumer Reports. Unless we get your permission, we'll use only your initials and your city and state of residence.

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