Congratulations, graduates! You are entering a new life stage and these are exciting times. You'll likely need to make some important insurance-related decisions soon. By better understanding policies and your needs at this stage, you can get the most out of the money you spend.
You've grown up seeing clever insurance commercials featuring crafty tag lines, but how much do you really know about insurance and the coverage you need now that you've graduated?
Consider the following questions and suggestions as you talk to an insurance professional about your specific needs.
- Renters insurance can protect your personal property against damage or loss and also protects you in case someone is injured while in your residence. If you plan to rent an apartment or other residence, do you need renters insurance?
- You might be sharing your apartment or house with roommates. In this case, you likely need an individual policy that covers you and your possessions if something should happen. Speaking of your stuff, have you taken an inventory of your personal property recently?
- As you sort through job prospects, don't make the salary your only consideration. Health insurance is perhaps the most important job-related benefit. Study the health plans prospective employers provide and inquire about your options and the out-of-pocket costs. Weigh this against the cost of remaining on a parent's plan. Current law allows you to stay on your parent's plan until you turn 26.
- Will you be looking for a car soon? Remember to factor in the cost of auto insurance. If the car was a graduation gift or you are jumping off your parents' auto insurance policy, it's time for you to discuss your coverage with an agent.
- If you drive an older car that is paid off, talk to your insurance professional about the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage versus the value of the car.
- In most states, the law requires you to maintain auto liability insurance to cover losses caused by negligence, and sometimes you're required to carry personal injury protection coverage. To avoid penalties, pay your premiums on time and don't let your coverage lapse. Have you filed a claim recently? Ask your insurance professional about an accident-free discount, which may lower your rates.
- There are differing opinions about the importance of purchasing life insurance unless you support individuals whose livelihood is dependent upon your income. As a young single, you should make choices based on your finances, health and other circumstances. Consider consulting a financial or insurance professional to learn more.
Some prudent steps and asking the right questions can help you control your insurance costs.