Many adults carry multiple types of insurance, including health, life, mortgage, home, auto and more. Insurance limits your liability and is a form of risk management that compensates you in the event of a particular kind of loss.
Insurance is sometimes required, for instance, if you take out a car loan, your lender may require you to purchase auto insurance coverage.
As a college student, there are several types of insurance that you might need, including:
1. Student Health Insurance
The world of student health insurance is changing, due to the new health care bill that became law in March of 2010.
Traditionally, some dependent students became ineligible for health insurance during their college years, due to their age or school status (less than fulltime) depending on the guidelines set forth by their parent’s insurance and state regulations.
The recently enacted health insurance reform legislation will now allow college students to stay on their parent’s insurance until they reach the age of 26.
If your parents do not have health insurance, the recently enacted legislation provides for the establishment in 2014 of new health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can purchase affordable health insurance.
2. Student Auto Insurance
If you own a vehicle while you are at college, you will be required to carry auto insurance.
There are plenty of options that you can choose from when selecting your auto insurance policy; you just need to understand what they all mean and then determine which coverage meets your needs.
The basic types of auto insurance are:
Liability – Nearly every state requires you to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover losses sustained by others in accidents in which you are at fault. Your liability insurance covers the other party’s property losses, repairs and medical costs.
Collision – If you are in an accident, collision insurance pays for the repair of your insured vehicle when you are at fault or in the event the other motorist is not insured. If you have a car loan, your lender will likely require you to keep collision insurance on your car until the loan has been repaid in full.
Comprehensive – Comprehensive insurance will include coverage for damage to your insured vehicle that is not related to an accident, like from theft, vandalism, hail, flooding, etc.
When designing your policy, you’ll want to decide what types of auto insurance you will need, how much your premium and deductible will be, and what kind of “extras” you will want included in your policy, including:
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (required in some states)
- Rental Car Coverage – in case your car is damaged and you need transportation while it is repaired
- Lease or Loan Gap Coverage – in case your car is totaled but you still owe money on your car loan
- Emergency Roadside Assistance – in case your car breaks down, you blow a tire, or run out of gas
Compare Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is a very competitive industry, and so it’s a good idea to shop around to find the rate and service that will meet your needs. You can shop online and compare rates, or call auto insurance companies directly to get a quote.
Remember, if you are ever unhappy with your auto insurance, you can switch at any time, even while your current policy is active.
3. Student Travel Insurance
If you are taking an extended trip, traveling overseas, or studying abroad, it’s a good idea to explore travel insurance. There are various types of travel insurance that you can purchase, depending on your destination and your travel plans.
Travel insurance can protect you in case of a medical emergency in another country, which is especially valuable if you are studying abroad. It can also provide protection in the event of cancelled flights, lost luggage, stolen passport/wallet, or trip cancellations due to bad weather.
4. Student Renter’s Insurance
If you live in a college dorm or campus apartment, you want to be sure that your belongings are protected. It’s always a good idea to determine the value of your possessions to assess whether you should obtain renter’s insurance.
If your belongings are stolen, and you do not have renter’s insurance, you will have to replace the items that were taken from your own funds (unless the police catch the thief and your belongings are returned).
Renter’s insurance generally costs just a few dollars a month, depending on the coverage you select, and will protect you in case your belongings are stolen, or destroyed in certain situations (like a fire or flood).
You can purchase various types of policies, with levels of protection that meet your needs.