October 2015 Blog #1 –The How To’s of Insurance: For the Post-High School/College Grad

As a child growing up, you have your whole life set out for you. Your job is to attend school every day, finish your homework, and complete your chores…once those responsibilities are complete you can spend your down-time doing the fun things that you choose to do. But what happens when you are about to finish schooling and graduate high school? What do you choose to do next? Should you pursue higher education? Should you obtain a job? When taking this big step away from the routine of your grade school years, young adults are handed a huge responsibility to choose for themselves what to pursue. This also marks the time when personal insurance should be discussed with young adults, as they venture out into their own independence. When I graduated from high school, I am willing to admit I knew very little about my own insurance. My parents tried to explain it all to me…how things would change, what I should know, but insurance tends to fall on the back burner with so many other big priorities on a recent graduate’s plate. The following are insurance tips and knowledge a recent graduate (from high school or college) should know about property and casualty insurance as they delve into handling their own, as an independent adult.

Renters/Home Insurance:

When a child leaves for school, parents should review their home insurance policy for possible changes in coverage options. If you aren’t living at home (which is covered on your parents’ homeowners’ policy) a rental policy should be considered to cover the items you own/take with you. An updated inventory of the child’s belongings should be created in order to cover them within a policy. Take pictures of belongings that you bring with you for coverage on your policy.

Auto Insurance:

Contact your auto insurance agent prior to leaving for school, so proper adjustments can be made on the policy such as change of location, change in vehicle access, different city rates, etc. If you buy and register your own vehicle, you will need your own separate auto policy. Many companies offer good student discounts, so explore any possible discount options. Verify your policy has adequate liability coverage, to protect your future in the case of any lawsuits.

AAA Membership:

Enrolling for a AAA membership you receive coverage in any car, anytime, anywhere as a driver or passenger with the security of roadside assistance. Members receive perks to save on dining, shopping, hotels, rental cars, travel events, auto care nationally through AAA instant discounts. Through online shopping, members can earn AAA dollars that help pay for their membership renewal. Members also receive travel benefits they are able to use worldwide through AAA Travel Agency, along with free TripTik maps and TourBook guides for members.

October 2015 Blog #2 – HALLOWEEN: No Tricks, just Treats

Summer has ended and the fall season is upon us. Trees are changing and the days are cooler. October is flying by as weekends are spent at apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Soon the first of the fall holidays will be here…All Hallows Eve: A night when jack-o-lanterns light the paths for costumed children walking door to door for tricks or treats. Though this holiday is a favorite of all ages, more tricks than treats can happen on this spooky night. Here are some helpful tips to prevent any unwanted Halloween liability horrors…

For property owners:

Make sure your yard, driveway, sidewalk, stairs, and porch are cleared to avoid anyone tripping over anything. Keep your walkways well-lit so guests can see where they are walking. Don’t leave matches, lighters, or candles out. Replace any candles (in pumpkins, etc.) with outdoor approved battery-powered lights. Verify any lights used outside your home are outdoor approved. Place decorations so they do not touch any lights or sources of heat. Keep pets inside house away from front door. If possible, keep all vehicles parked in your garage for the night. If vehicles are parked outside, make sure they are parked out of the way and locked. Only hand out individually wrapped and packaged candy/treats.

For Trick or Treaters/Parents:

Always travel in a group. Walk in neighborhoods you are familiar with. Try to stay on sidewalks while walking, and only cross streets at crosswalks or well-lit street corners. Have every member of your group wear glow sticks, reflective wear/tape, or carry flashlights in order to be visible to drivers. Never enter stranger’s homes. If children own cell phones, have them keep them on and at full volume, as well as your own cell phone. Try to not drive in neighborhoods Halloween night, especially teenage drivers. If driving is necessary, be on the alert for pedestrians, have your headlights on, and drive very slowly. If your kids are trick or treating elsewhere with friends, be sure to know their location/neighborhood. Once home, go through your entire child’s candy to inspect it before they eat anything!