Congratulations on making it through school and graduating college! Whether you’re going on for another degree or you’re entering the working world, some parts of your life are about to get real – and fast. If you haven’t already done it before, you’ve got to figure out this “adult” thing. Part of that is about insurance. It’s something your parents have worried about for years, and now it’s your turn.
Insurance doesn’t have to be stressful, not if you know a few things. We’re here to help. Okay, college grad, here’s your insurance primer for this new phase in your life.
UPDATE YOUR AUTO INSURANCE
Once you’ve graduated and packed up your dorm room – or your apartment – and you’ve got a new address, it’s time to think about your auto insurance. If your parents have been paying it for you until now, you’ll need to get some quotes for a new policy. But if you’ve been paying for your own auto insurance all along, you need to update your policy with your new address.
While you’re dealing with those changes, make sure you have enough auto insurance. In a perfect world, you won’t get into an auto accident, but that’s not the world we live in. The next best thing is to make sure you have enough insurance to cover whatever happens. Here are a few things that need to be in your insurance policy:
- Additional liability coverage, above and beyond the state minimums
- Comprehensive and collision coverage to protect you if you get hit or hit something or someone else
- Roadside assistance and rental coverage to help if you can’t drive your car
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in case you get hit by someone without insurance
Your premiums may go up a little, but you’ll avoid having to pay thousands of dollars after an accident. The extra cost is worth knowing you won’t go bankrupt after one bad accident.
GET RENTER’S INSURANCE
If your next plan after graduation is to move into your own place, don’t forget renter’s insurance. For a few hundred dollars a year, all of your possessions can be covered and replaced if your apartment floods, gets broken into, or damaged in some other way. It can also cover your personal belongings in your car if anything is stolen there, too.
Renter’s insurance is the only way to replace damaged or stolen belongings without paying the full cost for all new stuff. Your landlord has insurance on the property and building but that won’t cover you at all. To decide how much renter’s insurance you need, make a list of all of your stuff – clothes, TV, computer, smartphone, your gaming system and games, furniture, appliances that you bought, etc. Now add up what it would cost to replace each thing. It’s a lot more than you thought, right? Can you afford to lay out that much cash to replace everything if your apartment was involved in a floor or fire?
Once you buy your renter’s insurance, there are a few things you need to do:
- Make a list of your stuff. You can also take pictures or record video.
- Keep your list, pictures, or video in the cloud so that even if your computer or phone are destroyed, you can access it.
- When you buy something new, keep the receipt. Take a picture of it or use a scanning app on your phone. Store that in the cloud, too.
- Make sure your coverage is “full replacement cost” which means that if you make a claim, you’ll get what you need to replace your damaged stuff. If you pick “actual value” you’ll get a lot less based on the value of your old and used stuff.
A lot of people think insurance is more complicated than it really is or that it’s always going to be crazy expensive. That’s just not true. The trick to making sure that you’ve got great coverage at a great price is to work with a local insurance agent.
Charlotte Insurance is here to help you do just that. Let us help you protect yourself now that you’re out on your own, without spending too much. Contact us today for a quote!