What Kind of Insurance Do I Need as a Student? Determining insurance requirements for college students is complicated. There are so many unique circumstances that it is impossible to give a simple answer to that question. Let’s look at the following examples: Ashley’s parents live in Seattle, and she will be going to school in San Jose. She will be living on campus, does not have a car, and doesn’t get sick very often. Her parents’ health insurance can provide coverage until she turns 26 and her university also offers health insurance. Mark will be going to an in-state school. He will live off campus, will take his car to college, and tends to get sick a lot. He can stay on his parents’ health insurance until he turns 26 and his small college does not offer a health insurance plan to students.
Renters Insurance Insuring your personal belongings is important, but often overlooked by young college students. The need for renters insurance is largely determined by where the student lives. Because Ashley is living on campus, her parents’ home insurance policy will likely cover her belongings in case of theft or fire. However, because she is going to school in a different state, her parents will need to make sure their home insurance covers her while she is at school in San Jose and find out if coverage levels will be reduced. Depending on the answers to those questions, Ashley may or may not need renters insurance. Mark on the other hand, will most likely not have his belongings cove red by his parents’ plan because he lives off campus. Mark should strongly consider getting renters insurance.
Car Insurance What is the most cost-effective car insurance option in San Jose for a college student? Because Ashley will not be driving a car while she is away at school, getting her own car insurance is an unnecessary expense. If she wants to drive when she comes home on school breaks though, she should first make sure she is still covered by her parents’ policy. And because she will be driving so infrequently, her parents may be able to save money on her car insurance premiums without reducing coverage amounts. But can Mark stay on his parents’ car insurance policy, or will he need his own? That varies widely among insurance companies, so his parents should contact their agent for more information.
Health Insurance This is perhaps the most complicated of the three types of insurance mentioned here. Ashley can stay on her parents’ health insurance, but going to the doctor may be more expensive if there are no networked providers in her area. Doctor visits may be more cost-effective for her if she obtains health insurance through her university, but because she is typically healthy it may be less expensive to stay on her parents’ plan and arrange to have routine preventative care done while she is at home. Mark can also stay on his parents’ health insurance, and because he is going to an in-state college this is likely the best option for him, regardless of whether he plans to visit the doctor often or not. Howe ver, if he wasn’t able to be insured through his parents’ plan any longer, he would need to get his own health insurance because a plan is not offered through his college, and it gets significantly more complicated from there. This is especially true with the changes currently taking place due to the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of who you are and what you expect to have happen, remember to consider these three types of insurance when going to college or sending a child off to school. It may seem like o ne more thing to worry about, but can give you peace of mind, especially if the unexpected happens.
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