Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
Money Tips for College Students, May 2008
Because teens and young adults don’t have as much driving experience as adults, insurance companies believe they’re a bigger risk to insure. That means you’ll pay more for insurance than someone who’s older.
You must purchase insurance to cover any damage you do to someone else’s property or person. That’s called liability, and it isn’t negotiable. Collision insurance covers repairs to your car if you have an accident. Unless you owe the bank money on your car, you probably don’t have to have collision or comprehensive coverage, especially if your car is older. Not having collision insurance will save you money, unless you have an accident.
Here are the other main types of auto insurance:
· Comprehensive replaces damaged windshields and repairs damage caused by hail, flooding, theft, vandalism, etc.
· Personal injury protection pays medical expenses, lost wages and other out-of-pocket costs if you’re hurt, regardless of who’s at fault.
· Uninsured motorist covers your medical costs if you’re hurt in an accident by an illegally uninsured driver.
· Towing and labor pays these emergency costs when you need them.
· Rental reimbursement pays you to rent a car while yours is being fixed if you have an accident.
Besides car insurance, there are other types you should know about.
Health insurance is perhaps the most expensive type of insurance for most people. Ask your parents if you’re covered under their policy and, if so, for how long. Generally, unmarried children under age 19 can be covered on their parent’s insurance plan. If you’re a full-time college student, you might be covered on their plan until you’re in your 20s. If you get married, you’re automatically an adult and will be responsible for your own insurance. Many employers offer health insurance plans to their employees.
If you live in a dorm or apartment, you might want renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance can pay you if something gets stolen or destroyed in a fire or other disaster. Check with your parents’ insurance agent to see if you’re covered by an off-premises provision of their policy when you live in a dorm. If you live off-campus, you probably won’t be covered and will need to buy renter’s insurance. When deciding how much coverage to buy, consider replacement versus actual cash value costs. Replacement means if stolen, you’ll get the same item new. Actual cash value will give you an amount based on its used value based on depreciation. If you have really nice jewelry or other valuable items, consider buying extra coverage, called a rider, on them.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, visit www.GoHigherKY.org. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926, extension 7381.