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Insurance for College Students

Insurance for College Students

It seems just like yesterday your little pumpkin was born, but now he or she is off to college. You pack up his or her belongings, drive the child off to the dorm (or apartment), drop him or her off, and breath a sigh of relief. Will he get enough sleep? Will she get enough to eat? Will he make the football team? Will she get the grades she needs to get into law school? All of these are normal worries. Something else you should be worrying about: is your kid (and his or her belongings) covered while he or she is at university? Now THAT is a good question. Let’s find out more about insurance for college students. Dorm Life vs. Off-Campus Life While Tommy or Jill is living at the dorm or off-campus in an apartment, are their belongings covered? The answer: it depends. If your student lives in the dorms on campus and is registered as a full- or part-time college student, their belongings may be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. Typically the amount of coverage will be 10% of the contents limit on your homeowners’ insurance policy. For example, if your contents limit if $50,000, then the limit for your student will be $5,000. Will this cover all of his belongings? If he has an expensive computer or other electronics equipment, you may want to consider increasing your contents limit at home or talking to your broker about special coverage for these items. There may also be an age limit for this coverage, usually age 25 or 26. If you have a college student...
New Year Personal Insurance Checkup

New Year Personal Insurance Checkup

As 2016 comes to a close many people will be thinking about the future. Do you have New Year’s Resolutions? Have you made specific personal financial goals for 2017? The end of the year is a good time to take stock of the year that was and review your personal insurance to see if any changes need to be made. Here are a few points to ponder: Auto Insurance Since auto insurance is mandatory in most states, it is easy to just “set it and forget it”. You buy the policy, put the premium on auto-deduct from your checking account and motor off into the sunset. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself: Are all of my current autos on my policy? Have I sold, donated, or traded any vehicles in the last 12 months? Has my insurance agent been notified of any driver changes like a new driver or the departure of a driver due to death or divorce? Have any special modifications been made to a current vehicle that would change the value? Are my insurance needs being met by my current insurance policies? Do I have coverage I don’t need? Is there coverage I need that I don’t have? Another important question to ask: Do I know where my auto ID cards are? Many insurance companies now offer apps that include your auto ID card, or they allow you to print your auto ID card from their website. A good rule of thumb is to have two hard copies: one for your glove box and one for your wallet, even if you have an...
Homeowners Insurance: Things to Think About

Homeowners Insurance: Things to Think About

When purchasing homeowners or renters insurance many policyholders are usually thinking about two things: is this the least expensive policy I can find and will it satisfy my lender? While these are excellent questions, they shouldn’t be the only questions you are asking, and they shouldn’t be the only reasons that you purchase one policy over another. Here are three other important questions you should be asking yourself AND your broker before signing on the bottom line: Do You Have Enough Structure Coverage? Many homeowners base their structure coverage on either the purchase price of their home or the lender required insurance. While these are good starting points, they may result in a coverage shortfall in the event of a claim. The purchase price of a home often does not take into account the amount it would cost to replace the home in the event of a total loss. A $250,000 home purchased 10 years ago may cost $350,000 to replace in today’s market due to rising cost of labor and materials. Getting a check for $250,000 might seem great until you realize that extra $100,000 has to come out of your own pocket. In addition, if your policy has a coinsurance penalty, you may be on the hook for even more. A 90% coinsurance penalty says you should have insured your home for 90% of its replacement cost value or your claims payment will be penalized. You should be insuring your $350,000 home for at least $315,000, but you only insure it for $250,000 or 80% of the “should” value. In the event of a total loss the...
Case Study: Wrongful Death – Homeowners Insurance

Case Study: Wrongful Death – Homeowners Insurance

One beautiful spring day an 11-year-old girl in New York attended the birthday party of a friend. Her parents dropped her off, expecting to pick her up when the party was over, but a few hours later, she was dead. The cause of death was a combination of asphyxiation and blunt head trauma. It is believed that the young lady got a marshmallow lodged in her throat, was unable to breath, passed out from lack of oxygen and struck a table on the way down. No criminal charges were filed against anyone at the party, but her parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the homeowners in civil court. What would you do if this happened in your home? How Will You Defend Yourself? Mounting a legal defense in a civil case can be expensive. Unless you have unlimited funds and an attorney on retainer, a lawsuit can put a kink in your current and future financial plans. Homeowners insurance, and even renters insurance can help protect you and your family against the financial strain of a protracted legal battle in the event of injury or death at your home. Will It Be Covered? The Homeowners Special Form 3 (HO-3) defines “bodily injury” as bodily harm, sickness or disease including required care, loss of services and death that results. A death on your property is included under this definition, but it does depend on the circumstances. Under Coverage E “Personal Liability” the policy states that if a claim or suit is brought against an insured for bodily injury caused by an occurrence for which the coverage applies, the...
Renters Insurance and You

Renters Insurance and You

If you rent a home or apartment, chances are you may not have thought too much about what insurance to buy. After all, you don’t own the dwelling that you rent, so there is no need to cover it. This is true, but the dwelling itself isn’t what you should be concerned about. As a renter you still have belongings that could be lost in the event of a fire or theft, and you still have most of the same exposures that home owners do. Let’s take a look at what renters insurance has to offer: Renters Insurance Covers Your Stuff When you rent, the structure in which you reside is likely insured by the owner, whether it is a person, corporation or association. This coverage only extends to the structure, and does not extend to any contents of the structure that may be owned by you. In the event of a fire or break-in, your landlord’s policy will only pay for repair or replacement of damage to the structure.  Your belongings would not be covered, so it’s important that you have renters insurance to replace your items. Renters insurance covers anything that is owned, used or worn by you or someone in your family that resides in the home.  This includes your furnishings, dishes, clothing, books, etc. There are usually incremental limits for this coverage ($10,000, $25,000, and more). Your broker can help you select the limits of coverage that are right for your family. Please note that there are sub limits for some categories such as electronic equipment, firearms, jewelry and fine arts. Be sure to discuss...