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Top insurance mistakes made after a tragedy

1. Overreacting. You may be inclined to overprotect yourself and your family with life insurance, but don't make hasty decisions and buy much more than you need or can afford. Calculate exactly what your family would need if you're no longer here by using Insure.com's Life Insurance Needs Estimator Tool.

2. Quickly changing subaccount allocations within your variable life or annuity policies. Don't react to market conditions or national events by impetuously moving your money into conservative investments. If you've invested for the long-term, you can ride out market conditions.

3. Not letting beneficiaries know of the existence of life insurance policies. If you were gone today, would your family know how to find your life insurance policies? Make sure you let beneficiaries know who you're insured with and where they can find the paperwork.

4. Not electing COBRA for health insurance. If your spouse carried group health insurance and passes away, you and any dependent children who were on the health plan are entitled to buy up to 36 months of continuation of benefits through COBRA.

5. Letting insurance bills become delinquent. In the face of tragedy, you may lose track of insurance premium due dates and other bills, but don't miss the payment deadlines on your insurance! There is often no grace period if you are late with your auto and home insurance premiums, and your insurance company will have the right to cancel your policy if you are even one day late.

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