Believe it or not, it’s already back-to-school season! Younger kids go back to school this week, and college students follow soon after. If you’re a parent, upcoming events in your kids’ lives could impact your insurance coverage. And whether or not you’re a parent, this time of year requires that all drivers take extra care while on the road.
Safety reminders for all drivers
The back-to-school season brings increased traffic, as well as kids walking, biking, or scootering to school. Tickets issued for violations related to school zones and buses are expensive, and will certainly affect your auto insurance rates. And it goes without saying that no one wants to injure a child.
Be especially alert near school zones, school bus stops, and intersections with crossing guards. Be aware that kids don’t always stay in crosswalks. Obey school zone speed limits and instructions from crossing guards, and stop for school buses. You may need to allow extra time to get to your destination so you’re not tempted to drive faster than is safe. Let’s all work together to keep kids safe on the roads!
If you do have kids, especially kids in high school or college, read on for information regarding how going back to school may affect your insurance coverage.
Parents of high school students
Will you have a new driver this year? Inexperienced drivers, such as high schoolers driving for the first time, may be prone to distraction. Stress to your young driver the importance of minimizing distractions while they’re behind the wheel. (And don’t forget to model the behavior you want!)
Be sure to add your child as a driver to your auto insurance policy as soon as he or she starts driving. If they’re not listed as drivers and they’re in an accident, your claim will almost certainly be denied.
Worried about your car insurance rates going up because you add an inexperienced driver to your policy? Give Lakewood Financial a call for a rate comparison. As independent agents, we have access to companies with more affordable rates. And remember, if your child has good grades and/or has taken a safe driving course, you may be eligible for discounts.
Parents of college students
If you’re concerned about covering your college student’s personal belongings while they’re away at school, there are a couple of ways to handle that.
Will they live in a college dormitory or in an off-campus rented apartment? If your child lives on campus, your homeowners insurance may offer some coverage for their personal belongings (usually around 10 % of your policy’s contents coverage). However, if your child lives in a rented apartment, your homeowners insurance will probably not cover his or her belongings, and you may want to consider renters insurance. Even if your homeowners insurance would cover your child’s things, you may still want to consider a renters policy in order to avoid having to make a claim on your homeowners insurance and risking a rate increase.
Whatever you decide to do, make a list of the items your child is taking to school that you want to be covered. Keep receipts and take photos—this will be helpful if there’s a claim.
What about car insurance?
If your child won’t be taking a car to school and will be living away from home, can you take him or her off your policy? It’s not a good idea to do that, since they’re likely to drive a family car during breaks and over the summer. However, if they live 100 miles or more away, you may be able to get a discount on your policy—ask your insurance agent.
If your child is planning to take a car to school, you will need to notify your insurance agent about the vehicle’s change in primary location and find out if any changes need to be made to your coverage due to this new situation.
Lakewood Financial is here for you
Whether you have questions about your existing coverage or you need a quote for a new policy, please consider locally owned and independent Lakewood Financial for all your insurance needs. The agents at Lakewood Financial are happy to review your situation and help you to find the right policies for you. Give us a call today at 941-747-4600, or click here to contact us online.