Students & Insurance – Part I

Old Main

College move-in day is here. In addition to securing the latest tablet, and making sure you remember the HDMI cables for your student’s flat screen TV (so the online study guides can be viewed with greater clarity), please don’t forget to review your Insurance policies with one of our independent insurance agents to assure you are properly covered. We will meet with you and make sure you are taking advantage of any potential discounts and give you peace of mind knowing that your children (and you) are fully protected. You have enough things to worry about when your college bound student is away and insurance is something that can easily be checked off your “to do list” with some advice from our team.

Information is key when it comes to determining what potential insurance changes need to be reviewed when your child goes to college. These changes can be broken down into 3 “key” categories (to help you remember these each year, think of the keys that are found on that college lanyard that your student purchased at orientation).

 Car “Keys” (Auto Insurance):

  • When your student goes to college without a vehicle, communicate that information to your agent!
    • If the college is 100 or more miles from your home address, most insurance companies offer a substantial discount (the vehicle will be driven much less by your student, and most likely only on some weekends and on holidays—there is less risk to an Insurance company.)
  • When your student takes a vehicle to school, communicate that to your agent!
    • Urban/Suburban/Rural location will make a difference on premium
    • Many Insurance companies view this scenario differently and if this is a “change of address” from where your vehicle is normally “garaged” (your home); a future claim could become more difficult to adjust if you fail to inform the insurance company of this address change.
  • This is a good time to think about purchasing an Umbrella Policy (an inexpensive insurance policy that will extend your personal liability coverage by 1 Million dollars (or more) over top of both your Auto and Home/Renters Insurance. An Umbrella policy only costs, on average, $175/year and we would always recommend this coverage—especially when you have a child going to college.
  • Don’t forget to ask about a “good student discount”
    • If your student has (or had) a B average in school, most insurance companies offer a discount of around 5%.
  • Remind your student that under most situations it is not a good idea to let a roommate (especially if your child just met their roommate) or friends borrow their car.
    • In the event of an accident, under most situations, insurance coverages will “follow the vehicle” and will have an impact on your future premiums.
  • If your child changes the Drivers License physical address to the college address, many insurance companies view this as a permanent address and in order to provide coverage, will require you to update your “Garaging address” with the insurance company (which could have an impact on your annual premium).
  • If this vehicle is currently covered with “Liability Only” coverage (no physical damage coverage), it might make sense to purchase “comprehensive” coverage in the event of a vandalism/theft claim (having a vehicle on campus or at an off-campus apartment oftentimes results in an increased risk for vandalism/theft when compared to where you live).
  • In most situations, your Auto insurance premium is less when you are able to maintain a youthful operator (25 years of age or younger) on an Insurance Policy with multiple drivers or multiple vehicles. With that said, if the title of a vehicle being taken to college by your student is registered to you, and is driven primarily by your student, depending on your situation, it might make sense to transfer the title of this vehicle to your child’s name and purchase an Insurance Policy in the students’ name (this would also decrease your own liability exposure).
  • If the Auto Insurance policy that your student is covered through does not include towing coverage or Roadside Assistance, we recommend either adding this coverage or purchasing separate coverage through AAA (this will give both you and your student peace of mind in the event of a stranded vehicle).

Enders Insurance  is an independent insurance agencies servicing South Central Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  We maintain strong relationships with many Insurance Carriers. This allows us the opportunity to research multiple options in terms of coverages and premiums for your individual insurance needs.  You aren’t like everyone else and your insurance coverage should be tailored just for you.  Mike Bagwell hails from Harrisburg, but resides in North Carolina where he and his family are happily located.