Insurance – not really the subject to get a rapturous response from your teenager. But if they’re making noises about going flatting, starting their first job, or planning on driving a bunch of their mates to the Mount this weekend, it’s definitely a good idea that they learn the basics…

Here are some handy conversations starters about what they need to know…

What they need to insure, and what they don’t

A 19-year-old with no assets apart from a skateboard and an old Honda does not need to be sold life or home insurance – and it does happen. But it can be a good idea to learn about the benefits of contents insurance, particularly to protect their more expensive items like iPhones and laptops if they’re no longer covered by your policy.

Getting medical insurance sooner saves money down the track

No, they don’t need expensive policies yet, but they should understand the basics of what medical insurance/ACC and the public health system covers, and the cost and exclusion benefits of choosing insurance sooner than later. Ask us about Guaranteed Medical Insurability. Starting at $13 a month (plus policy fee), it can be a smart way to minimise (or even eliminate) the exclusions that apply as we get older (and life has its say).

What the insurers will check if they have a car accident

As adults we learn the importance of following certain rules – like those that come with a driver’s licence. But consequence can still be a new thing for teens and even knowing the basics can be good protection. For example: insurers are unlikely to pay out if they’re driving passengers while on their restricted, or after 10pm, no matter the circumstances; and they’ll be short of a pay-out if their car doesn’t have a warrant or registration, etc.

That travel insurance is absolutely vital if going overseas

When they’ve scrimped together for a ticket, and sold the last of the Lego on Trade Me for spending money, forking out for travel insurance can be a step too far for some young travellers. It shouldn’t be, and they need to know why.

If you’re stuck and need some advice or have any questions about explaining the basics, just give us a call. We’re only too happy to help. Call us on 0800 823 823 or contact us here.