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Grads, you need insurance

Tips for protecting yourself and your property as you enter adulthood

My insurance agency recently participated in an Adulting Day, which involved meeting with local high school seniors and introducing them to skills they will need as they enter the adult world. Topics included setting budgets, changing a tire, sewing a button and more. As part of the finance module, students had to make their income stretch enough to cover all their expenses, like rent, food and insurance. Many of these young people soon realized that life can be very difficult, and there is much to know.

Graduates quickly will realize that money is tight, but insurance is essential for protecting their assets as they move to an apartment or college and start spreading their wings in the adult world. Here are a few tips:

  • Renter’s Insurance provides coverage for your personal belongings in the event of theft, fire or other covered events. It also can provide liability coverage if someone gets injured in your rented space. Valuable possessions such as laptops, smartphones and other electronics should be insured against theft, loss or damage.
  • Auto insurance is mandatory if you own a car and drive it regularly. Be sure to review your coverage and consider adding additional coverage if needed.
  • Health insurance is an important coverage against medical expenses. You can be covered under your parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 26, or you can explore options like student health insurance plans or individual plans.
  • Travel insurance is a good idea if you plan to study abroad or travel during breaks. Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, lost luggage and other unforeseen events.
  • To save money on insurance, shop around and compare quotes from various providers to find the best coverage at the most affordable price. Some companies offer discounts for bundling policies for multiple types of coverage (such as auto and renter’s insurance).
  • Increasing your deductibles (the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in) helps lower your premiums. Set up a catastrophe savings account to get a tax break, and you will have enough money to cover the deductible amount if you ever need to make a claim.
  • Paying your bills on time will result in lower insurance rates because you are acting responsibly and present a better risk for insurers. If you go on to college, having good grades may give you an insurance discount, too. Ask about other deals like safe-driver discounts, low-mileage discounts and price cuts offered for owning a safe vehicle (based on insurance statistics).

Life is full of risks, and you must assess your individual needs. An insurance professional can help you determine the specific types and amounts of coverage that are appropriate for your situation.

Written by Angelyn Treutel Zeringue

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at, (228) 385-1177 or

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