The MOOC Project : “Personal & Family Financial Planning”

“Personal & Family Financial Planning” by Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D.


Insurance is for managing people’s risks, that it is a form of risk sharing and risk transfer with an insurance company. We pay the company and they provide us protection to our family, stuff, and well being. There are various types of insurance such as disability insurance planning, auto insurance, life insurance, and the course tells about them.

First, disability insurance is an income insurance that provides periodic payments to people who are unable to work because of injury or illness. It can cover both accidents and sickness. Also there are two types which are group or individual and what people mostly concern about disability insurance is whether they should take short-term insurance which provides coverage up to 2 years or long-term insurance that covers longer than that until age of 65. For those who are confused, the professor provides a decision tree.

Secondly he talks about life insurance. There are two types of it which are term insurance and lifetime protection. In case of term insurance, it covers pure mortality risk and the premium goes toward insurance. On the other side, lifetime protection is both mortality risk and some form of asset like savings and investment. It’s premium goes toward mortality and cash value, and it lasts as long as you pay. This time the professor shows his decision tree again.

Next, he talks about more things like methods for determining amount needed and managed care organizations like HMO and PPO.

The third type of insurance he covers is renter’s insurance. It is for protecting own asset from fire, theft, etc. It is typically and relatively inexpensive. After that, he briefly summarizes about homeowners insurance and some endorsements.

Lastly, the professor explains about auto insurance which is mainly needed to protect people’s vehicles. It can cover three types of loss like cost to repair damaged or stolen vehicle. For types of loss like them, medical payments, property damage, legal expenses can be covered by limitation of 50/100/25. Finally, the amount of coverage can vary according to driver classification like age, sex, marital status, and poor driving record, type of car, etc.

To sum up, insurance is a relation with insurance company that we pay them a fee and in return they provide protection for us. To carefully look at types of insurance and functions of them is very important since proper insurance can cover our overall health and well being.

* Opinion about the lecture and MOOC

– It may seem strange, that reasons why I chose this course would be somewhat different from other peers. The course is about financing planning including information about insurance, dept, and credit which I know nothing about and with no interest in. Also, you might think since my major is Family Resource Management the course is closely related to the major and my interest, but I’m planning to change my major and therefore did not took a single lecture about family finance. However, every weird condition I described became my reason for choosing this Personal & Family Financial Planning. That is, because I know I have no interest and knowledge about family or personal finance, I felt once I have to run into it and learn what it is like! I just wanted to feel what the finance and economical things are.

– About the lecture that I listened to, the ‘Insurance Decision Making’, as I expected before it was not really ‘my thing’, so I felt some wariness at the first time. However, soon I realized that I have to be familiar with this because financial planning and insurance are definitely important things in our lives especially when we get older. Therefore, I could finally open my mind to it and attend carefully, even taking notes during the lecture.

– About the level of language professor Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D. used, because I mentioned before that economic and finance are not in my area, I felt some vocabularies and expressions are a bit unfamiliar for me, such as breadwinner, premium of insurance, mortality, managed care, etc; those are what I had to find out their true economic meanings through dictionary. However, except for some words like those, I felt general expressions and vocabularies the professor used were not that hard for university students except the fact that the professor talked a bit fast.

– Navigating the site and finding lecture was not that hard, but some small difficulties existed such as finding courses related to my major or passions. Except that, signing in and a way to search courses were not hard. I just hope more various courses to be opened.

– I definitely want to recommend and introduce the MOOC site to my friends, especially if they want to raise their English level as I do. It is because most of lectures are free, and so many good lectures of real professors from universities and college are there for us. Also I liked about downloading function that we could download the mp4 files of lectures and subtitles also. Such a useful and good site! Thank you for introducing the sites Mr. Daley 😉 It was a nice experience.

– Because the course does not require my money and school credit, I feel if I have extra time I can take the full lectures of the course. The biggest reason would be the fact that real grade does not come out and it is free, and secondly the professor explains about finance which I hate very easily and interestingly. Not during semesters but during vacations I believe not only the course I registered now but other courses would be useful methods to educate myself using my spare times!

Thank you 🙂


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