Your little bird is flying the nest. For parents with students about to start their first year of college, you may ask, “Didn’t they just start Kindergarten? How did it happen so fast?”
Ready or not, this summer will end sooner than you want. In addition to the emotions related to this life-changing event, you spend time thinking about what they’ll need for their new adventure. But, who has time to think about insurance?
Despite all you have on your plate, it’s a critical time to think about your coverage, especially when it relates to your college-bound student and their protection. A little preparation before they leave may keep your premium in check while making sure your wing still covers them . . . for a little while longer at least.
Whether your Little Sally is heading out of town or out of state, you want to consider the current coverage on your auto policy and explore necessary changes if needed.
You’ll want to consider whether she will take a car to school or if she will only drive a car when visiting home. Keeping her on your policy in both situations is a good thing, but it’s important to know why. Make certain to contact your insurance agent to discuss how your student is covered.
Your agent can tell you how discounts may apply if Sally only drives the car when home. Also, some insurers may offer discounts for good grades and for driving while she attends a college a certain distance away from home. Saving money while paying for tuition and books is always good!
While evaluating, it’s also a good time to talk to Sally about the car she will drive and the possible liabilities while at college, e.g., letting a friend drive her car. Though Sally drives the car miles from home, your liability is always present.
Most likely, Little Sally is bringing her property into a shared space. That property probably includes some pricey electronics and other valuable items that need protection in the case of damage, theft or other perils. Living off or on campus will determine whether she needs rental insurance or if her belongings will be covered by your homeowner’s policy.
If she plans to live in a dorm, your homeowner’s policy covers her up to certain limits. It’s good to take an inventory of what she plans to take, the value of the items and how much your policy covers. Depending on the comparison of the value of the items to your coverage amount, you may decide what is worth taking and what to leave at home.
If Sally plans to live in an apartment off-campus, she will need a renter’s insurance policy that will protect her items and provide liability insurance to protect her in the case one of her visitors is injured in her apartment (think house party. Wait, don’t think that!). Though you’ve raised Sally as a responsible young woman, you don’t know if her friend’s parents did the same.
If your current policy doesn’t meet your coverage needs for Sally’s items in the case they are damaged or stolen, you can purchase additional riders to make certain items are covered. Again, talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage for your student’s scenario.
In addition to everything else on the pre-college to-do list, make the time to talk with your agent this summer before it’s time to pack the car. Here at Lisa Nickels Insurance Agency, we understand what it means to see our sons and daughters take those next steps that we didn’t think they would take so soon. We want to help you with your current coverage needs so you can sleep better at night knowing you’ve given your little bird and yourself some peace of mind.
And remember this after they are gone . . . it’s only a few months until they return for the holidays.