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What Your Graduate Needs to Know About Insurance

You’ve loved, motivated, reminded, supported, and pushed your teen. Now that high school graduation is here, a barrage of questions flood your mind. Did I teach them enough about this to survive on their own? Did I clearly show them that so they can try it by themselves? No one will ever feel completely prepared to send their fledgling out of the nest, but here are a few items you should have a chat about before turning the car or apartment keys over to your children.

Auto Insurance

  1. If you get in an accident, call three people: The police first (whether you caused the accident or not), your parents, and your insurance agent, whether it be with a cheap car insurance firm or otherwise. Call your agent as soon as you can after the accident. Be honest and try to remember details like on which side of the road you were hit.
  2. Remember, your insurance will cover some damages in the event that someone besides the owner is driving the car. This includes some medical costs as well. However, it’s best to keep the car in your control, unless you are being smart and giving the keys to a designated driver if you don’t feel up to making the trek home behind the wheel. Here is a cool infographic from the Insurance Information Institute (III) that breaks down your basic coverage.
  3. Keep your auto insurance card up-to-date and in your glove compartment at all times. Paper-clip it to your registration, and set a reminder on your phone for policy renewal.
  4. Car insurance costs may change when you move to college. Whether you stay on campus or in a nearby apartment complex may affect your rate.
  5. Don’t be a distracted driver! Make a pact with friends to put away the phone when you drive. You can even download apps that will notify anyone who messages or calls you that you are driving and will contact them later. Check out some apps here.

Renters Insurance

  1. Apartments, dorms, and home rentals don’t cover your stuff. If you are bringing anything of value with you on your college experience, protect it. There is help available from Roger Butler and similar firms if you are unsure. Renters insurance policies don’t cost a fortune and are essential when you live in places where, let’s face it, strange things are more likely to happen. (This writer could tell you stories about a certain boys engineering dorm.) There are two types of policies: actual cash value and replacement cost.
  2. Make a home inventory list. The insurance world even has a cool app to help you. (Download the Know Your Stuff app to digitally store a list of valuable items from your abode.) Stuffed animal from childhood? Sorry, Andy, that’s priceless. But a gold necklace from the sweet one? That needs to be listed. With a home inventory, you’re more likely to get the right reimbursement or actual cash value in the event of a loss.
  3. Renters insurance only covers your goods, not the physical building, so don’t go nuts. You’re not a rock star. You will, however, most likely be covered for other people visiting your pad in the case of medical or legal expenses. But still, don’t go crazy, alright?

Life Insurance

  1. It’s never too early to set up a policy. You may even be able to use the policy to help with loans at a later date. Life insurance is flexible and can provide a source of secure, trusted income in the not so distant future. The III reports that “some types of life insurance create a cash value that, if not paid out as a death benefit, can be borrowed or withdrawn on the owner’s request.” They say this creates a sort of “forced savings plan,” that is tax deferred. (That means you don’t pay any taxes on the money until you use it.)
  2. The younger you are, the better your rate when it comes to purchasing life insurance. That’s why securing a policy in college is a great investment that will make for better returns later on.
  3. Don’t buy a term policy if you plan on using the money during your lifetime. You want a Whole Life policy for cash value. There are still variations on this, so talk to an insurance agent to figure out a specific policy that fits what you can save and what you want to do with the money. However, if you are looking for a term policy for a payout after your death, it might also be worthwhile to note these policies can also vary massively due to pre-existing medical illnesses, etc, which is why providers similar to special risk managers offer policies for those that could suffer from diabetes, cancer and other illnesses that may otherwise have you denied for a policy in the future.

We can help handle any transitions in your insurance needs, so give us a call! We’re ready to help you set up new policies and answer any questions about existing coverage. Good luck, graduates!

Want to become an insurance agent? We can chat about that too.

Call us today at 407-965-4253 or request a quote here.

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