UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Do college students need insurance? Yes, they do. If you are going to college, you may wonder what types of insurance you should have and how to save money on these policies. Below are some facts you might find interesting and helpful.
Health Insurance, Yes or No?
Do you need health insurance? It is always beneficial to have some type of health insurance regardless of how healthy you may be. Accidents happen, and even routine care can be expensive. One thing you will need to do is check whether you are covered under your parents’ policy. If you are not yet 31 years of age and are presently attending college, you may very well be covered under Mom and Dad’s policy. If so, then your health insurance concerns are over.
What do you do if you find that you do not have coverage? You should obtain some type of health insurance, even if it is just a basic plan. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it will be beneficial to find a policy that will cover it, although many health insurance policies rule out coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you are healthy, basic coverage should be enough to see you through any health issues that may arise. You will want to check out three or four companies to compare coverage and cost of premiums. Co-pays and deductibles are usually the out-of-pocket costs you will need to deal with, so you will want to put money aside for these expenses.
If you are working while attending college, see if your employer can cover you through the company health insurance plan.
You may also want to find out about student health plans that might be available, providing you with coverage at lower rates. Check with your university and also with various health insurance carriers about this type of coverage.
Auto Insurance is Necessary and Required
If you drive, you need auto insurance. When investing in insurance, consider the type of vehicle you are driving. A newer model car will require extra coverage, such as collision, to offset expenses for repairs should you be involved in an accident. If you are driving an older car that would have a lower Kelley Blue Book value, you may want to drop collision coverage. If your car gets damaged, the insurance company will only pay the Blue Book value of your vehicle minus your deductible.
Every state requires you to have a certain amount of insurance. If money is tight, you will want to have at least the minimum amount of insurance that is necessary. Shop around and invest in an insurance policy that will give you the coverage you need at an affordable rate. School is expensive, so you will want to get a good deal on your auto insurance.
What about Life Insurance?
Term life insurance isn’t an essential for most college students given their young age and lack of responsibilities, and many will choose to save their money and purchase this type of insurance a little later on when they are earning more. However, there are students who will find term life insurance beneficial, such as those who are married, have a child or are planning on starting a family. Students with a spouse or dependents may choose to take out a term life insurance policy so their loved ones are not left to deal with daunting expenses in the event of their death.
It’s also important to consider term life insurance if you have student loans with another person, such as a parent, listed as a cosigner. Depending on the terms of the loan, your cosigners could be responsible for the balance of these loans if you were to die.
College is an exciting time, but do not let yourself get so caught up in the excitement that you neglect the types of insurance you really should have.
Guest author Jennifer Lewis believes it’s important for students to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage and not to presume they will be covered on their parents’ policy. They may not want to spend money on insurance, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Jennifer writes for a site that has info on undergraduate scholarships for women, including college scholarships for minority women.