The first year of college can create some insurance question marks for students and their families – and you can be certain that more questions will pop up between enrollment and graduation.
With so many other things to consider and decisions to make, it’s easy for families to put the topic of insurance on the back-burner – but that can come at a big cost.
The tips below will give you the guidance to make sure you’re covered throughout every stage of college.
- Health Insurance: Health insurance coverage should be a top priority, as one bad illness or broken bone could break the bank if you aren’t ready for it. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many young adults can remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. Many schools offer school-sponsored health insurance plans that should be explored as a next option, before turning to an individual plan. (Plus, your school may have a health clinic with free or low-cost care for basic needs, so that’s a good starting point to lower health care costs.)
- Auto Insurance: If your college plans involve driving a car, auto insurance is a must. It not only protects your car and the car of anyone you potentially collide with, but also protects you against liability in the case of a larger accident. If this expense is stretching your budget, consider these cost-saving steps:
- Drive Safe: Speeding tickets and fender benders drive up the cost of your premium.
- Look for Discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for college students or students who maintain a good GPA (typically 3.0 or higher).
- Consider Higher Deductibles: A deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket on a claim before the insurance company covers the rest. As a general rule, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
- Review Your Options Annually: Price-shopping plans can save you money every year.
- Renter’s Insurance: Depending on where you go to school, some dorms may require renter’s insurance and others may not, so check with your chosen institution on what’s needed. If you move off campus, rental insurance is always a good idea for rental housing situations as it protects against loss or damage to property, as well as liability if someone is hurt on the property during your time of residence. Compared to other forms of insurance, renter’s insurance can be obtained for a low monthly premium.
We get it. Insurance can seem like a “I’ll handle that later” topic for college students and families. But the coming years will bring a lot of unpredictability – and that’s exactly what good insurance can protect against.
So, pay attention to the essential details of college-age insurance today, and you can rest assured – and insured – from now until your graduation day.
Nelnet Bank does not provide legal, investment, tax, or financial advice. This page and the information contained herein is for informational purposes only. This content is not meant to address the circumstances of any particular individual. Nothing contained in this article constitutes a recommendation or endorsement by Nelnet Bank. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consult with a qualified professional.