To state the obvious: Adulting is hard. There are plenty of things school didn’t teach us that we need to be successful as adults: taxes, self-defense, insurance, first aid, budgeting, the list goes on. That’s where Odyssey comes in. The creators at Furman have written a few articles to try to teach millennials some of the finer points of adulting that our school system conveniently left out.
Our education system is flawed. That we are all well aware of. There are plenty of things that graduates about to enter the real world need to know, but don't. After a string of events, I have found myself a licensed insurance producer at the ripe old age of 20, so here are some insurance basics that you should probably know as a young adult, but no one ever explained to you before dropping the bill in your lap. Let's call it, "Insurance for Millenials."
Renter's insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers your belongings.
What it doesn't cover: the crappy dorm building or apartment you live in.
What it does cover: your belongings (bedding, laptop, food, clothes, etc.), liability (someone comes over and falls off your balcony and wants to sue you)
This is what covers your car with "Act of God" events. A tree falls on it, you have hail damage, a deer runs out in front of it, a rock flies up and hits your windshield and cracks it. You can't help what happens to it and it's not your fault. You can choose what your deductible (what you will pay to get it fixed) will be in case any of these happen.
This is what covers your car and fixes it if you get in an accident and it's your fault. You will choose a deductible that you will be responsible for in case anything happens. One way to lower your monthly price is to raise your deductibles, but if you get in an accident and your deductible is $2000 that you don't have...
This is what pays for the other person's car/the mailbox you hit/the trees (don't judge, it was one time) and their medical bills. The first two numbers (50/100 for example) are for the medical bills. This means it will pay up to $100,000, but no more than $50,000 for one person. The third number (50) is how much it would pay for property damage. Anything above and beyond these dollar amounts, you'll be responsible for.
A lot of insurance companies offer discounts to lower how much you pay each month, especially for young drivers. Check with your insurance company, but most offer at least a Good Student Discount (for a 3.0 GPA or higher), Driver Training (if you took a driving class when you got your license), as well as Multi-Line Discount (see Renters above).
There are a ton of other options you can put on your insurance, like Personal Injury Protection, which takes care of your medical bills if you were at fault. One of my personal favorites is Emergency Roadside Service, which has changed my tire as well as towed my car to the nearest fix-it shop when the radiator blew in 5 o'clock traffic.
Personal Articles Policy
A Personal Articles Policy (or PAP for short) is to cover your valuables. I have one that has my laptop, camera, television, and DVD player on it. If someone spills something on it, someone steals it, etc. it's covered, and it doesn't go against your homeowner's insurance which could drive up your price if you make too many claims on it.
Overall, the rules are different in each state, but these are the insurance basics you need to know to understand what you pay for each month. Contact your insurance agent if you have any questions, they're there to help you understand what your insurance covers!
This is just the first in a series of articles about things you need to know, but school didn't teach you. Got something else you want to learn about? Taxes? How to budget? Self-defense? How credit works? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!