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Insurance 101

Young people, ages 16 through 18, generally think of insurance in a single dimension…auto. If you missed our graduate seminar, Insurance 101, I’ll try to fill in the blanks!

Ken Knight, from the Automobile Club of Southern California, came out to a packed audience of teens looking to further their education. For many of you insurance is something that your parents handle. Well, if you’re going to be independent, or semi-independent, of your parents then you need to know how to handle all aspects of your life.

The following is a list of basic insurance policies that your parents probably hold in order to protect you and your family:

Automobile Insurance
Homeowners Insurance (If they own your home)
Renters Insurance (If they rent your home)
Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Life Insurance
Insurance is a way for you to protect yourself, your loved ones and your possessions. But what does that mean? Here’s an example:

The hot water heater in your home burst and the water held inside came barreling out and flooded a number of areas in your home. There are several issues here; the water heater needs to be replaced, the floor will need to be repaired (if you have carpet, the carpet and the pad will need to be replaced, if you have a wood or wood laminate floor it will also require replacement. If you have tile…you may be okay.) The furniture is probably ruined. There may have been electronic equipment low enough to have been touched by water (not the best friend of electronics) will also need replacement. Starting to sound expensive, isn’t it? This is the reason for Insurance.

When you buy an insurance policy you agree to pay a small monthly amount, the premium, so that if you have a problem, like the incident above, the insurance company agrees to provide the money necessary to repair these items. In this example the type of insurance would be either Homeowners Insurance or Renters Insurance, both which protect your home and its’ contents.

Did you know that once you’re eighteen years old you could be dropped from your parents’ health insurance policy? Unless you are a full-time student many insurance companies will require a separate policy for persons in the household over the age of 18. Remember, the decisions you make, such as not attending college, may impact some less obvious areas of your life.

Protect yourself. Seek advice from people you trust, i.e. your parents, a family friend, or your friends’ parents.

Want to know more? We will repeat Insurance 101 before the end of 2005. Check our website for dates.