The Strickler Express is Strickler Insurance’s Newsletter for friends and clients of Strickler Insurance. We have been sending out the Strickler Express since 1982. Contact us to learn more about insurance and request a free insurance quote.
Basic Insurance Issues For Students Attending College
Graduating high school and leaving home for the first time can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. In the excitement and anticipation, parents and students tend to overlook the fact that college students may encounter insurance issues. So, before there’s an auto accident, fire, theft from a dorm room or off-campus apartment, or an unexpected trip to the emergency room, review your family’s, changing insurance needs. Some key questions and factors to consider when children go away to college are:
Q: Does my homeowner’s policy (“HO Policy”) cover my children’s personal belongings while they are living away from home and attending college?
A: For college students living in dorms, most HO Policies will cover personal belongings up to a certain percentage (usually 10%) of the personal property limit stated in your HO Policy. Because of this limitation, and the possibility your student may be bringing high priced electronics and other valuable items to school, it’s important to check the coverage limits of your policy to make sure you are adequately covered. If you aren’t adequately covered, you may wish to either increase your policy limit or purchase an additional renter’s insurance policy to ensure there is no gap in coverage.
Q: Do the same coverage and limitations apply if my children live in off-campus housing?
A: Most HO Policies will NOT cover personal belongings for students living in off-campus housing and neither will the landlord’s insurance. This applies if the student lives at their off-campus housing all year and is not considered a member of the household any longer. If this is the situation, you should consider purchasing a separate renter’s insurance policy to cover your child’s belongings.
Q: Are there any auto insurance issues I should discuss with my agent?
A: It’s important to pick up the phone and inform your agent if your children go away to college. If they don’t take a car, you may be entitled to a premium discount, but still be able to retain coverage when they come home or if they borrow a car while away at school. If they do take a car, premiums may increase or decrease, depending on the location of the school. In addition, maintaining a certain G.P.A. may make your children eligible for a “good student discount”.
Q: Are there any health insurance issues I need to consider or address?
A: If your children attending college are younger than 26, they are eligible to maintain coverage on your insurance, as long as they are not offered health coverage through their own employer. If your child will be attending college in another state, it’s possible your plan’s network of hospitals and preferred doctors may not extend there. If this is the case, your student will likely have coverage for emergency care, but may have to travel to a preferred doctor or hospital for routine care, or your insurer may provide benefits at “out-of-network” levels. It is best to check your individual plan’s provisions or contact your insurance agent to find out what benefits will be provided.
Q: Are there any alternatives available if my children don’t have healthcare coverage, or if coverage is limited by network service issues?
A: If your children don’t have medical coverage, or coverage is limited, you may want to consider purchasing a “student health care plan”. Such plans are sold by insurers who have contracted with a college to offer coverage to its students. Contact your child’s college to obtain specific information regarding such plans. Another alternative would be to purchase an individual health insurance policy through your agent.
Q: Are there other insurance issues I should consider before my children go off to college?
A: There are several, including:
- Tuition Refund Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Identity Theft Insurance
Q: How do I know what I should do?
A: Making such a personal decision about your options is yours. As your professional independent agent, we can help explain these options. Our agency’s job is to help provide you with information on these choices so that you can make informed decisions.
West Chester Window: September Is Life Insurance Awareness Month
Certain types of personal insurance are considered necessities by most people. Home and auto insurance, for example. You’ve got to have it. Health insurance is also seen as a no-brainer by most. Since we know we need these insurance coverages, we include the premiums in our household budgets and pay the bills when due, even when money is tight.
Life insurance, on the other hand, is an easy purchase to put off. Unless you have had a close call, or know someone who has passed away and left their loved ones struggling to pay the bills, it’s not a topic you think about too often. But maybe it should be.
September is Life Insurance Awareness month. Do YOU need to be more aware? Here is a rule of thumb: If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance. If you were to die tomorrow, how would it affect your loved ones financially? Would they have enough to pay for your funeral costs, and any medical and legal bills that may have been incurred? Would they be responsible for any unpaid loans or credit card bills? Without your income, can they cover ongoing living expenses like rent/mortgage, insurance, food, clothing, healthcare, and transportation? What about future expenses such as college and retirement?
Purchasing either Term or Permanent life insurance can give everyone peace of mind in the event of an untimely death. Paying the premiums is not fun, but relieving the financial burden for the ones left behind is—–as the saying goes, PRICELESS.
Reviews & Feedback of Strickler Insurance
Thank You! We build our Agency on your positive comments:
“I’m at a loss for words. When my daughter called and said she changed from State Farm to Strickler and the amount she saved, I quickly got my policies out and faxed them in. My premiums were cut in half! I just didn’t think that this was possible. I thought all companies charged the same so I never checked. Boy was I wrong! Happy! Happy! Happy!”
“We always receive excellent customer service from Strickler Insurance!”
-Howard & Debra Horst,
“Vicki was the best! She helped me understand every step in the claims process. Strickler Insurance Agency is wonderful. I highly recommend!”
“I saved $302 plus I now have a lower deductible on my homeowners’ policy. The people that work there are very helpful. I am very thankful that I was referred there by my brother-in-law. I surely will tell my children about Strickler!”