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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Breaking down the costs of living an uninsured life

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – David Alvarez works 17 hours a week and pounds out plenty of essays for his full load of classes as an English major at California State University, Sacramento. But shopping for insurance hasn’t been a big priority.

Car insurance? “Got it.”

Health insurance? “I stay away from sharp objects.”

Renter’s insurance? “I thought about it, but I don’t have enough stuff to make it worthwhile.”

Judging from that checklist, the 26-year-old Alvarez manages risk much like other college students do – by playing the odds that disaster will strike someone else.

But it’s always a gamble. Last year, more than $9 million worth of personal property was reported stolen on University of California and California State campuses.

And an unexpected illness or injury can expose students to the draining costs of medical care. In California, state records indicate that a third of 18- to 24-year-olds have no health care insurance.

“An unforeseen illness could spell catastrophe for an uninsured college student and their family,” said California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who recently urged college students and their parents to assess their insurance needs.

Because as everyone knows, the craziest things happen in college. Just ask Yubrano “Yubi” Alvarez, spokesman at CSI Insurance Agency, Inc., a Georgia company that specializes in policies for college students.

“We’ve had claims for alcohol being spilled every which way, damaging property,” said Alvarez (who’s no relation to David). “We’ve had kids drop their cell phones in the toilet. We had a student who set his laptop down on the street and his roommate ran over it.”

If you’re looking for college-student coverage, here’s a rundown of how to get started:

– Health insurance:

Many family health care plans will cover a dependent child as long as they’re enrolled in school or up to age 23. Check the details of your policy.

Of course, many college campuses have health clinics where students can drop in for routine care such as treating a sore throat or getting a tetanus shot. Student fees typically cover this service.

But one late-night visit to an emergency room or a broken arm on the soccer field could land a student with a bill the size of next semester’s tuition.

Students who aren’t covered by a parent’s plan can often purchase health insurance through their campus student services office.

– Auto insurance:

First off, it’s the law in many places. Uninsured motorists may face stiff financial penalties and, if involved in an accident, the risk of losing a license.

For parents with college student drivers, there are potential price breaks on auto insurance.

GEICO, for instance, will lower premiums if the student is attending school at least 100 miles from home and won’t be driving a family vehicle. If the student comes home for less than 30 days – say, during winter holidays or summer break – he or she will still be covered.

Poizner also recommends that students ask about “good grades” discounts and “accident forgiveness” clauses that ensure premiums won’t go up if a student gets into a minor accident.

– Protecting valuables:

These days, it’s not unusual to find dorm rooms stuffed with electronics, from the tiniest iPod to the biggest flat-screen TV.

Often, student belongings are covered under a parent’s homeowner’s or renter’s policy, as long as the student lives on campus.

Allstate, for example, covers students living in campus housing – a dorm, sorority or fraternity house. When a student moves off campus, though, coverage drops to encompass just 10 percent of the policy’s content coverage.

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