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Insurance to consider when single and starting out

Posted September 11, 2013 in Advice Column

The right insurance can help keep you and your possessions protected from unexpected events, but when you’re on your own for the first time it can be hard to know what coverage you need and what you don’t. The Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests looking at these coverages if you’re just starting out:

Renters. Your landlord’s insurance covers the building — not your belongings — in events such as a fire, theft or severe weather. Renters insurance offers coverage in these situations and often includes liability protection.

Homeowners. If you own a home, homeowners insurance will help protect both the structure and the belongings and also offers liability protection. Purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost to rebuild your home in case it is totally destroyed. In most locations you can lower the cost of your premium with safety upgrades, such as fire alarms and security systems.

Condominium owners. Similar to renters insurance, condominium owners insurance primarily protects your personal property. But it also helps protects the portions of your unit the condo association requires you to cover. And it provides liability coverage.

Auto. In most states, it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance. The cost varies by state depending on things like your age, car, driving record and the type of coverage you have. Keep in mind: When you lease or finance a vehicle, you may have to purchase collision or comprehensive coverage in addition to basic liability.

Health. In some cases, the Affordable Care Act allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, even if they’re married or eligible for insurance through their employer. If insurance isn’t available through your parents or your employer, consider purchasing individual health coverage to help cover medical expenses.

Life. Life insurance can help protect loved ones from taking on additional burdens — such as your unpaid debts or funeral expenses — should you unexpectedly pass away. When you’re young, your life expectancy is high, so you might benefit from lower rates if you purchase coverage at a younger age.

Financial instability, excessive credit card debt and a poor credit score can all increase the cost of insurance.

Information provided by Mitch Lunn, State Farm Insurance, 616 N 15th St. Fort Dodge, 576-4171,

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