When you are young, you might not think it necessary to examine the many types of insurance that are available. However, even young people can experience illness, loss, or property damage. You want to be sure that you have policies in place to protect yourself, your home and your property in the event of a catastrophic event. You will need to understand the laws of the state you live in to determine what, if any, types of insurance are mandatory. For example, most states require that you have auto insurance if you own a car. We have listed several types of insurance below so that you can start thinking about your future needs.
One of the first things you will need to investigate after graduation and securing that first job is the question of health insurance. Your employer may provide you with health care coverage and will be able to provide you with the details of their plan. However, there are things that you will need to know to choose between the options you will be provided.
- Resource: Healthcare Through Your Job: What You Should Know (accessible via www.cashcourse.org)
The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides several other options to young people. If your parents have an employer-based health insurance plan, you can remain on this plan until you turn 26 years old. You also have a range of options within the Health Insurance Marketplace. Some states have established their own Marketplace where you can explore your health insurance options.
- Resource: HealthCare.gov for information about health insurance coverage and enrollment
Disability insurance is a form of income protection should you suffer an injury or illness that prevents you from working. This type of insurance is typically offered through your employer but can be purchased by individuals as well. The federal government and some states also provide some coverage for the disabled, but the coverage is minimal.
Many people consider purchasing life insurance once they have begun their careers or made a significant life change like getting married or having a child. However, young people might want to consider buying life insurance earlier rather than later.
You can purchase either term life insurance (fixed rate for a fixed period of time) or you can purchase whole life insurance (for your entire life). You may be able to get a better rate for whole life insurance while you are young than you would if you purchased when you are older and could already be established when you decide to make a significant change in your life.
Most people understand that they will be required to purchase homeowner’s insurance when buying a home. However, it is equally important to protect yourself with renter’s insurance when renting. You can obtain relatively inexpensive rental policies that will cover your personal belongings and liability while you rent. Renter’s insurance typically covers losses from theft, fire, water damage, and personal liability coverage for anyone who may be injured at your property.