Thursday, May 31, 2018

Insurance tips for recent college grads

It's graduation season and lots of new college graduates are embarking on their career journeys. Many college grads find themselves needing to make important insurance-related decisions. By better understanding insurance policies and your needs at this stage, you can get the most out of the money you spend on insurance.

Renter insurance
Renter insurance can protect your personal property against damage or loss and also protects you in case someone is injured while in your residence. If you plan to rent an apartment or other residence, here is more information about how renter insurance works.

You might be sharing your apartment or house with roommates. In this case, you likely need an individual policy that covers you and your possessions if something should happen. Speaking of your stuff, the best way to make sure you get reimbursed for your contents is to make a home inventory.

Health insurance
As you sort through job prospects, make sure salary isn't your only consideration. Health insurance is perhaps the most important job-related benefit. Study the health plans prospective employers provide and make inquiries about your options and the out-of-pocket costs. Weigh this against the cost of remaining on a parent's plan. The Affordable Care Act law allows you to stay on your parent's health insurance plan until you turn 26. Read more about understanding health insurance.

Auto insurance
Will you be looking for a car soon? Remember to factor in the cost of auto insurance. If the car was a graduation gift or you are jumping off your parents' auto insurance policy, it's time for you to discuss your coverage with an agent.

If you drive an older car that is paid off, you might consider dropping collision or comprehensive coverage as a way to cut expenses. Talk to your insurance agent or broker about the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage versus the value of the car.

Washington state requires you to maintain auto liability insurance to cover losses caused by your negligence. To avoid penalties, pay your premiums on time and don't let your coverage lapse. Have you filed a claim recently? Ask your insurance agent or broker about accident forgiveness, which may lower your rates.

Read more about understanding auto insurance.

Life insurance
There are differing opinions about the importance of purchasing life insurance before you have a family of your own. If you are single, you should make choices based on your finances, health and other circumstances. Talk to an insurance agent or broker to learn more. Some prudent steps and asking the right questions of your insurance professional can help you control your insurance costs.

Read more about understanding life insurance.

More information
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has insurance information for young singles and single parents. To find out if an agent selling home, health, auto or life insurance is licensed in Washington state, or if you have questions about insurance, contact us at www.insurance.wa.gov.