The University of California requires that all registered students (including F-1 and J-1 students) have health insurance. To help you meet this requirement, UC Merced automatically enrolls all registered students in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP). Fees for UC SHIP coverage are automatically charged to your student account each school term along with your other fees. More information about UC SHIP can be found here.
International scholars on J-1 visas must also carry health insurance for the entire duration of their program as mandated by the Department of State's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). More information about health insurance options for UC Merced J-1 scholars can be found here.
Most states require you to maintain certain minimum levels of liability insurance on your car in case you are involved in an accident. The insurance covers your liability for damage to the other car and injuries sustained by all people involved in the accident. We strongly recommend getting insurance that covers more than the legal minimums. You can also get collision insurance to cover the cost of fixing your car and comprehensive (theft) insurance in case the car is stolen, but this is only worthwhile for a new car or a model of recent vintage. If you don't have car insurance, you won't be able to register the car.
If you're lucky, you will find an insurance company that will allow you to transfer your driving history and insurance record from abroad. Often they will require you to have a clean driving record with no accidents. Ask other international students for suggestions, since they will know which insurance companies are best for international students. Another possibility is the AAA, since they offer their own insurance program and may be able to recommend other insurers.
A basic guide to understanding insurance and terminology related to insurance can be found here (provided only as a resource and not an endorsement).
Renter’s insurance (sometimes referred to as “homeowner’s insurance”), protects against property losses such as those from theft, fire, vandalism, or water damage. In addition to property coverage, renter's policies may offer protection against personal liability, guest medical benefits, additional emergency living expenses, and credit card protection, or other unexpected losses.
Most students do not think about renter’s insurance, simply because they do not believe it is necessary in temporary living situations. In some cases, students do not know that renter’s insurance even exists.
Renter’s insurance is important because it specifically covers the value of your property. Many landlords have insurance to protect their property, including the building they own. But, their insurance coverage does not offer tenants who live in their buildings any security. Renter’s insurance can cover the cost of new furniture, new computers, new TVs, and other expensive electronic equipment, as well as clothing, if you were to lose them in a fire or other disaster.
The website http://www.reviews.com/homeowners-insurance/renters/ can help identify an insurance provider that works with your needs.
DISCLAIMER: The University provides information regarding insurance only for your convenience and information. We do not endorse or recommend any specific insurance provider and assumes students and scholars will do their own in-depth research before purchasing a suitable insurance policy. This website is not intended to provide legal advice, and it should not be used as such.