Money Smart Week (April 23-30)

Money Smart Nebraska Week is back! This spring, Money Smart Week will be Saturday, April 23rd through Saturday, April 30th. To celebrate, we are hosting a booth with Union Bank to educate students about identity theft. We will have our booth up outside the Union Bank branch in the city union during business hours from Monday, April 25th to Friday, April 29th. We will be handing out a “Top 10 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft” book mark, along with other information on identity theft, and what to do if it happens to you. Between the hours of 11:30 am to 12:30 pm each day during that week, we will also have our Plinko board up, and students can play to win a prize! We will also be having free snacks at our booth (get them while they last!) each day. Stop by to grab a snack, free stuff, and some money tips during Dead Week. You can find more information on Money Smart Nebraska Week at moneysmartnebraska.org See you then!

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Insurance- Auto & Renters

In the last post I introduced the importance of college students having three types of insurance: health, auto, and renter’s, and I elaborated on the basics of health insurance. Next, here’s what you need to know about auto and renter’s insurance:

Auto Insurance
Automobile insurance covers repair bills and protects you from having to pay costly medical bills for yourself or others following a car accident. It also can protect against the costs of car damage resulting from acts of nature or in cases where another driver hits you and does not carry sufficient insurance to cover your medical and repair bills.

A full coverage auto policy includes the components of collision, damages caused by nature, fire, or theft or vandalism, and liability insurance. Liability insurance covers payments for bodily injury or property damage you are found legally liable for. When a dealer or bank is financing your car loan, a full coverage policy will likely be required. Also, almost every state requires you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage.

It’s important to compare insurance companies before buying a policy to save money. Some companies offer good student discounts for maintaining a high GPA, and others grant discounts for having safe driving records and taking driver’s education classes. Unfortunately, car insurance is typically more expensive for drivers under 25 due to inexperience. Finally, keep in mind that choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium cost.

Renter’s Insurance
Renter’s insurance provides coverage for belongings within a rental property. The policy protects against losses to personal property within the rented space for the following situations:

  • Loss of personal items to theft or vandalism
  • Loss of personal items to fire, smoke, leaking water, and other acts of nature
  • Liability claims filed against you by someone who is hurt on the property and accuses you of negligence
  • Medical expenses of someone who is hurt in your rental unit

You first need to do some research to check and see if you need a new renter’s policy. You could possibly be covered under your parents’ homeowners policy. Your insurance needs depend on the total value of your property, and most policies require you have at least $10,000 of protection. Premiums are usually pretty reasonable- typically under $200 a year.

The bottom line is that no matter how cautious you are, accidents are still a possibility in life. Insurance is the only way to protect yourself against having to pay for these expensive incidents out of pocket.

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

Insurance- Health

A Guide to Understanding Insurance:

Life is full of risk.  You may not think about it, but every time you get into your car, you’re taking on the risk that you may get into an accident.  Each time you play an intramural sport or go on a run, you’re risking getting an injury.  All of these things are very expensive to pay for, and that’s exactly why insurance is an essential part of life.

Although there are many different types of insurance, there are really only three you need to worry about having in college: health, auto, and renter’s.  This post’s focus will concern health insurance, and auto and renter’s insurance will be covered next week.

How insurance works:

Whenever you buy an insurance policy, you have some control over the cost.  Every month you pay a premium, and the higher the plan’s deductible (the amount paid  before insurance payments kick in), the lower the premium.  For example, a policy with a $1,000 deductible means the policy won’t pay your bill until you’ve paid $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs.  Also, the more coverage options you add, the more expensive the monthly premium will typically be.  Depending on the insurance type, there are certain factors that will influence your premium, such as age, sex, marital status, credit, health, driving history, etc.

Health Insurance

This is insurance against loss by illness or bodily injury and provides coverage for medicine, visits to the doctor or emergency room, hospital stays, and other medical expenses.  By law, if you’re under 26 you can stay on your parents’ plan even if you are married or don’t live with them.  If this isn’t an option or you are over 26, you have three choices:

  • Employers may offer insurance plans which cover some of the cost
  • Temporary health insurance plans are available while you search for a permanent plan. Visit ehealthinsurance.com for more info.
  • The Affordable Care Act has a health insurance exchange for citizens to purchase health insurance through.  Visit www.healthcare.gov for more info.

You may not think you need health insurance if you’re young and healthy, but you never know when an accident or major medical crisis could occur.  You can’t buy insurance to cover you after the fact- so you would most likely end up paying for the entire bill for many years to come.  It’s very important to compare policies and make sure you have covered what you need.

Article written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant