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Insurance Needs for the College Graduate
College graduation is behind you, and you have started your first job. While this is an exciting time in your life, it also comes with responsibilities that are a necessary part of adulthood. Perhaps one of the first decisions you will need to make is purchasing automobile and renters insurance. But where do you get started?
Understand the basics of automobile insurance.
There are two parts to auto insurance. One protects your automobile and is known as 1st party coverage. The second protects you from claims you are responsible for and is known as liability coverage or also called 3rd party coverage.
Liability insurance is required in most states. It protects you from claims other make against you. It includes damage to their property and injury to their bodies. For example, if you are sued as the result of an accident, the liability coverage pays for the costs of defending you and damages owed should you be liable or responsible. However, It does not cover your own car. If you want to cover the value of your own car, it requires collision insurance. While this insurance is optional if you own your car, it is typically required if you leased or financed your car. Comprehensive insurance covers your automobile should it be damaged in a manner other than a collision – falling trees, hail, or even vandalism. Uninsured/Underinsured coverage will cover you in the event you are in an accident caused by someone who either does not have insurance or does not have enough to cover your losses. Rental Reimbursement allows you to rent a car within a daily allowance should your car require repairs or replacement. If you only have access to one car, this option is advisable.
Understand the basics of renter’s insurance.
Renter’s insurance covers your possessions and accidents that may occur at your home. Most landlords are only responsible for the structure and do not have insurance on your personal property. You want to protect your clothing, electronics, and other household goods in the event of theft or a catastrophic disaster. Keep in mind, this coverage extends to the contents of your automobile if items are taken. Additionally, the renter’s policy also covers for liability that you may owe to others, such as your landlord or another tenant, should you cause a loss. Many young renters decline this insurance and later regret it. The cost of these policies is reasonable, and unless you want to risk losing everything you own, it is a good investment and in some cases, this coverage is required to obtain your lease.
Insurance can be purchased through an agent or through an online or telephone call center. Does a call center really know who you are and what you need? Will they be there tomorrow?
There are three major benefits to utilizing the services of an agent:
1, — An insurance agent is a cost-free mentor and consultant.
In most cases, using an insurance agent does not cost you any more than purchasing policies through call centers. If you schedule an appointment, you can meet your agent and discuss all the ins and outs of your particular needs. They are the experts. The agent has access to many different lines and the knowledge base to mentor you through analyzing your individual needs. Those who effectively utilize their agents will schedule reviews with their agent periodically to make changes as your needs change. As your insurance needs grow, so will your relationship with your agent.
2. — An insurance agent is your budget advisor.
The cost of insurance policies can vary significantly based on your needs, but it is ill-advised to buy products simply because they have the lowest cost. Often times when people do this, they do not have the coverages they assume they have, or they find billing and claims issues come along with the low-cost carriers. Rather than contacting a call center, speak with an agent who can help you understand the value you need within your budget to save you money in the long run.
3. –An insurance agent is your advocate.
If you should have issues with billing or claims or even need to make changes to your policies, your agent can represent you in dealings with the company. They can directly work with the insurance company on your behalf, freeing you to do other things with your valuable free time.
Think about it, An independent insurance agent is your one-stop-shop that will save you time and hassle in the long run
Now that you understand the basics of your insurance needs, schedule an appointment with your agent so that you can get out there and enjoy life knowing that one of your responsibilities has been covered.
Whether you need an automobile, homeowner’s, renter’s, or business coverage, your agent can help you understand and navigate these products. In many cases, they can even assist you with health or life insurance needs as well, or at least direct you to a respected colleague. In many cases, you can get multi-line discounts by purchasing products and services through the same agent. This prevents you from having to keep up with multiple bills, websites, or contacts in managing your insurance needs. It also adds a personal element wherein you have a relationship with an individual rather than just being a client without a face.
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Financial products and Insurance are provided through partner carriers. See disclosures and product materials for specific features and benefits. An agency relationship is not created by viewing or reading this blog. Examples of protection are not all-inclusive, and policyholders should refer to their policies for full coverage details. ©Smith-Kenyon Insurance Resources, LLC 2018