After years of hard work, you’ve finally received your diploma. Soon you’ll be faced with many new and exciting life changes involving work, money, living spaces, and possessions. But with all the excitement, have you thought about insurance?
There are five basic insurance tips every new graduate should consider:
As a student, you were probably on your parent’s auto insurance policy. When you move out and purchase an automobile of your own, you may no longer be covered under their policy. Auto insurance helps with the expenses in the case of accidents, vandalism, or theft. A lender or leasing company that finances the vehicle will require auto insurance. Car accidents can create large liabilities for a driver. Don’t skimp on the liability coverage because you’re not making much now. If a judgment against you exceeds the liability limit on your auto policy, the courts may garnish your wages for as long as it takes to pay the judgment.
Once you move out of your parent’s house, your belongings won’t be insured under their homeowner’s insurance policy. Be sure you have renters insurance before you move into your new apartment. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your landlord’s insurance will cover your things and your liability. Renters insurance covers your belongings whether at home or traveling. You may have accumulated a TV, laptop, game systems, furniture, clothes, jewelry, linens, food, dishes – think about how much it would cost to replace them.
Renters insurance not only covers your belongings but also provides you with liability coverage. Suppose your friend slips and falls in your apartment, or you have a fire in your apartment that causes damage to the other tenant’s belongings and the landlord’s building. When choosing the liability limit, remember like a car accident, the courts can garnish your wages.
The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for a young adult to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until the age of 26 even if you don’t live at home. However, if your parents don’t have health insurance policy, and you don’t have coverage through a job, you’ll have to purchase coverage through the individual marketplace.
If you find the health insurance premium is much higher than you expected or can afford, look at purchasing a high deductible plan or short-term policy. A high deductible policy requires you to pay a larger amount out of pocket before coverage kicks in. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. Short-term health insurance will bridge the gap if you expect to have a job with health insurance in the near future. A short-term policy provides coverage for a short period of time such as three, six, or 12 months. Be aware that a short-term policy may contain limitations in exchange for the lower premiums.
As a young, single person, you may not see the need for life insurance. Or maybe your employer offers group life insurance. What happens to the policy when you leave the company? Did your parents cosign for your new car and student loans? Do you want them to have to pay the loans back if you unexpectedly die? If you have no immediate needs, what about the future such as purchasing a home, getting married, and having a family. The time to buy term life insurance or permanent life insurance is when you are young and have no medical problems.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, so now is the perfect time to think about where your income will come from if you’re injured or disabled. If you can’t work, your bills don’t stop coming each month. If you’re injured on the job, most likely workers compensation will help fill this gap. However, what happens if you break your leg at the weekend dodgeball tournament? A disability insurance policy provides income if you’re injured or disabled, whether on the job or off.
As you can see, at this stage in your life, there are many new responsibilities. One of our expert insurance agents will be able to help you choose sensible coverage that won’t break the bank. Don’t wait until something happens that could affect the rest of your life.
Vicki Brossman has been with Kemner-Iott Agency of Cass County for 18 years where she specializes in asset protection and risk management for our personal lines customers. Vicki has been involved in farming her entire life being raised on a farm in the Marcellus area. For the last 42 years, Vicki and her husband have been farming in the Vandalia/Cassopolis area.
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