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Teen is Going to College

Last August I loaded up what seemed like our entire household into the back of my old truck to take the first of many trips to my daughter's "new" home to start her freshman year of college. We helped her unpack, made her bed, hung pictures on the wall, and squirreled away all of her snacks. It's time to say our good-byes. I remember feeling an odd mixture of pride and joy, anxiety, and…sentimentality. Is this bright, young college student who's radiating with excitement REALLY our little girl?? It seemed like we were just putting her on a school bus for kindergarten not that long ago.

Time for them to start the next stage in their lives, and we hate to let go….

But as a parent, we've been doing our job for the last 18 years raising and guiding our children to be prepared for these first steps into their own lives. And we have done a great job – because now your child is taking their next BIG step.

Still, our jobs as parents is far from done! Now we need to make sure they're fully protected as we send them off with their hopes, wishes, and dreams.

Tanner Insurance Agency can provide you with guidance on what insurance you will and won't need for this huge life changing event. There are many considerations when it comes to your college student's insurance needs:

  • Auto Insurance
  • Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance
  • Health Insurance

Auto Insurance

You might think that if your child goes away to school without taking a vehicle, you can take him or her off of your auto policy to save money. However, when they come home for weekends and vacations, we know they'll want to borrow your car; or if his friends at college ask him to be their "designated driver" for a night? These scenarios may have serious implications if the student is no longer listed on your auto insurance.

So here's 4 reasons to keep your student, who is away at school, on the auto Policy even if they don't take a car to college:

  1. If he returns home for a weekend from school and wants to drive, they will still be fully protected.
  2. If they drive a friend's car while at school and that vehicle is not adequately insured, they will have insurance protection which extends from your policy.
  3. Certain coverages from your policy may extend to your child even if your car's not involved; for instance if hit by a car as a passenger in someone else's car, while bicycling, or walking.
  4. Continuous insurance coverage is maintained when you keep them on your policy which may be beneficial for them when they get their own policy.

If your child brings a car to college, he or she can continue to remain on your auto policy. Most instances it is more expensive for young drivers and students to have their own policy. Notify us about the new garaging address since insurance companies will need to know, and it can save you money depending where the college is located

Full-time students are usually able to stay under the coverage of their parents' auto policy as long as their primary address is the parents' house. Even out of state college students can usually remain on their parents' policy, assuming the car remains registered in NY.

And keep in mind as a full-time student, your child may qualify for a Good Student Discount if he maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The savings can be significant so don't forget to send us a copy of his transcript or a letter from a college advisor!

Distant Student Discount can also be applied if your son/daughter attends a school that's located 100 miles or more from your home.

If you and your child decide to "spin" them off on their own policy, the car should be titled, registered and insured in their name. The biggest advantage is the student's driving history and claims experience should not affect the parent's policy.

Tanner Insurance Agency specializes in properly insuring your college student. We will review your situation and make sure all coverage is adequate as well as current.

Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance

So how about all their "stuff" they take to college or accumulate while there?? Most companies will allow the parents Homeowners insurance coverage to extend to the college, Providing they are living in dorms or college owned townhouses.

The personal property can add up pretty quick when you consider computers and other electronics, clothing, textbooks, sporting equipment, etc., and the insurance will protect these expensive belongings from theft, fire, smoke damage, vandalism, and much more.

If your child continues to live in your house, his or her belongings remain covered under your policy.

If your student lives in a campus dorm room and you have renters or homeowner's insurance, your policy will extend to cover their belongings, some company will have sub-limits like 10% limit of your personal property coverage.

For example, if the limit on your renters or homeowner's policy is $200,000 for personal property, there will be up to a $20,000 coverage on your son/daughter's belongings. Remember that coverage is subject to your renters or homeowner's policy deductible, normally $500 to $1,000.

Contact us to make sure that your homeowner's policy has a sufficient personal property limit. Additional coverage to insure higher priced items like musical instruments, sports equipment, or jewelry may be needed.

Keep in mind: If your student returns home or travels abroad for longer periods of time for college, all belongings that are left behind in a dorm or fraternity / sorority house for more than 45 days will not remained covered under your homeowners policy.

If that is the situation, all belongings should be shipped home during extended absences or moved to a commercial storage facility temporarily.

If your student lives in his or her own place off-campus, or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get more complicated. If your student moves off campus, they will most likely need their own renters policy. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, running anywhere from $90 - 150 per year, depending where the apartment is located and amount of coverage desired.

There are other variables that may need to be put in consideration, depending on your student's specific situation. This is where an independent insurance agency (like Tanner Insurance Agency!) can really come in handy!

Give us a call if your student is planning on moving into his or her own apartment or house. We can assist with your navigation through the insurance-jungle and help you get the best value and protection for your money.

Health Insurance

Imagine yourself receiving a phone call on a quiet winter evening. Your 19 year-old college student son is on the phone. He went on a ski trip with some friends in another state. While skiing for the first time, he broke his collarbone.

He needs you to tell him what to do.

In a situation like this, you have to see if your child is still covered. Check with your health insurance provider to find this information.

There are several important factors to consider:

  • As a full time college student, he or she may be covered up to a certain age limit in New York.
  • If your child is covered, be aware of how coverage works in different states:

Keep in mind: If your child decides to travel during his or her time in school, you should check to see if their health insurance coverage extends to overseas travel. It often does not.

One-Stop Insurance Shopping

Having a child head off to college is a roller coaster ride. There is a lot to think about, accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions. Grant yourself and your child the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to your homeowners, auto, and health insurance protection. When a proficient pro handles life's emergencies, it's just one less thing that you have to worry about.

Our team at Tanner Insurance Agency, Inc. specializes in family protection plans. Our family-oriented agency has helped thousands of clients get prepared for the changing insurance needs of new college students and their families, while making sure they get the best protection for their insurance dollar. We know where to look to find the discounts!

Contact us today 1-888-484-2467 for a free review of you and your student's insurance plan.