Insurance Tips for Adults Just Starting Out

Insurance Tips for Adults Just Starting Out

You keep your car filled up with gas so you don’t get stranded on the side of the road. You ensure your phone is charged so your loved ones can reach you. But, what kind of safety measures do you have in place for more extreme scenarios?

What if you lost everything you owned in a fire at your house or your apartment? What if your car were stolen? These situations are scary, but your insurance can help you through them, and much more, so long as you have the right coverage in place.

So, what’s right for you? Whether you’re starting out on your own or starting a family, these tips can help you begin to understand the level of insurance you may need.

Consider What You Own – And What It’s All Worth

Could you imagine having to replace all of your personal belongings at once? What about having to do so from memory and on your own dime? It would be both a difficult and a costly task. There are a couple of things you can do to be prepared.

First, make an inventory of your belongings and their value so that you know what is lost if they are lost in a fire or other emergency.  (The free Safeco Home Inventory app can help.) Want to know more about how to do one?  Check out Why You Need a Home Inventory.

Second, be sure you have enough insurance coverage regardless of whether you rent or own a home. It’s known as “personal property coverage,” and you want enough of it to replace all of your belongings if it were to come to that.  Checking your coverage is easy by doing an insurance review.  Check out Doing an Insurance Review: Why You Need It and What to Do.

Take Your Lifestyle Into Account

Drive an expensive car? Repairs are likely costly, so be sure to carry full coverage. Own a home with a lot of custom features? Be sure your homeowners policy takes them into account. The way you live can help you save, too. For example, if you take public transportation to and from work even though you own a car, you may pay less for your insurance.

Talk to Your Independent Agent for Ease, Choice and Advice

At Bob Johnson Insurance, we care about you and helping you protect the ones you love as well as the things that you need.  As an independent agency, we are able to offer a choice of carriers and options, plus personalized advice to help make sense of it all. And, we make it easy by doing the research and the work for you.

Remember, we’re here to help. Contact us today at 865-922-3111 with your insurance questions and needs.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know — Tip #5: General Tips for College Students

Insurance Tips for College Students

In these two weeks, we have been discussing insurance tips that every college student should know.  Today, we want to provide you, as the college student, some tips to help you.

It CAN Happen to You

Many times young adult individuals do not think that something like the topics in this series can happen to them. Whether it be an incident with your car or your personal property, you NEED to understand that situations requiring insurance can happen to anyone.  It’s important to protect yourself as well as your property.

Most of your stuff in your dorm room should be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renters.

When you live in a dorm on campus, most of your personal possessions are covered under your parents’ coverage. However, you should check on the limits to the coverage in the case of expensive things such as computers or other electronics. There may be limits to this coverage and a special personal property endorsement may be needed.

Get renters insurance when living off-campus.

As mentioned in previous posts, make sure you get renters insurance when you live off campus. In addition to protecting your belongings, it can also protect you from liability in case someone gets injured there as well.

Don’t take valuables to school.

There are some valuables that you may want to leave at home when you go off to college. While laptops may be needed, your expensive jewelry isn’t. Leave those kinds of things at home where they are safer.

Keep your things safe.

It’s important to make sure to safeguard your items from theft. Do not leave your things unattended on campus and make sure that you always lock your dorm room door. You don’t know who may wander into your room otherwise. 50 percent of all on-campus crimes are burglaries, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The primary areas where they occur are the dining hall, the library and other public places.

The distance from your parents’ home can matter.

Make sure to double check your auto insurance, especially when you attend a college that’s located out of state.

Safeguard any gaps in coverage.

We talk a lot here about reviewing your coverage.  If you are covered under your parents’ insurance, make sure they contact their agent to check to see if there are any gaps in coverage when you go to college.  Otherwise, make sure to contact your insurance agent to find out for yourself. You don’t want to take the risk that something could happen during one of these gaps and be left without insurance. That is not the way to begin your awesome college adventure!

Bob Johnson Insurance is Ready to Help

We can help you make sure that there won’t be any gaps in coverage and that you have the right amount of insurance here in Tennessee for your college experience.  It only takes a few minutes on the phone.  Give us a call at 865-922-3111.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know — Tip #4: Renter’s Insurance Tips

Insurance Tips for College Students

In these two weeks, we are discussing insurance tips that every college student should know.  When we discussed personal property a few days ago, we talked about the possible need for renter’s insurance.  If you need it, here is some information to help.

There are two kinds of renters insurance policies.

You can choose from actual cash value or replacement lost when you’re looking into renters insurance policies. If you get actual cash value, it pays for what it will cost to replace your possessions minus a deduction for depreciation. If you get replacement cost, it will pay to buy a replacement item. The replacement cost policies are more expensive, but it makes sense because they also offer more protection.

Be on the lookout for discounts.

When it comes to insurance, there are ways to get discounts and the most for your money. Often times, if you purchase more than one type of insurance with the same company, you can get a discount. Check with your insurance agent now to find out what kind of deals they may have when you add additional coverage.

Consider a higher deductible.

While it doesn’t sound ideal, you may want to investigate the benefit of choosing a higher deductible. By doing this, you will be able to have a lower premium.

Choose your own insurance company.

There are more and more landlords that require their tenants to have renters insurance as a condition of the lease. They may even go as so far as to suggest an insurance company for you. Keep in mind that just because they suggest someone, doesn’t mean that you’re required to go with that company.

Because Bob Johnson Insurance is an independent agent, we can help you find the best insurance company for you. We can show you what is offered by multiple companies and provide the information that allows you to choose the right balance between price and coverage for your specific situation.

Questions for Your Insurance Review

  1. Explain the types of renter’s insurance that is available.
  2. How much coverage do I need?
  3. Are any discounts available?

How Long Will It Take to Get Answers to My Insurance Questions?

You should be able to get most (if not all) of your information with a phone call or two.  At Bob Johnson Insurance, we are always ready to provide the answers to your questions.  Give us a call at 865-922-3111.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know — Tip #3: Identity Theft Protection

Insurance Tips for College Students

In these two weeks, we are discussing insurance tips that every college student should know.  Many people don’t consider the risk of identity theft for a college student.  That’s the topic of this third tip.

Is My College Student Really at Risk?

10 million Americans are victims of identity theft each year.  You may be surprised that it can happen to every classification of person — babies, the deceased, hospital patients, poor, middle-class, rich and even college students. This issue is so significant that we are already working on an entire series devoted to this topic.

College Students Can Be More Susceptible to Identity Theft

Identity thieves look for sources of personal information, and colleges provide them with a strong opportunity.  This means that college students may be more at risk for identity theft than other people. There are several factors that cause this situation.

  • Close living quarters / roommates
  • Constant social media interaction
  • High volume of internet downloads
  • Amount of time spent online
  • Potential data management issues of the college or university
  • Students register for credit cards and often do not protect their personal information as they do so
  • Mail theft at the college P.O.
  • Graduating students look for jobs and send out hundreds of resumes as well as filling out applications and submitting resumes online

The list can go on, but you get the idea.  It’s all about the potential of identity thieves to get your personal information.

Questions to Ask for Your Insurance Review

Many insurance companies offer identity theft protection in addition to standard homeowners and renters policies. When you call your agent, ask him/her these questions.

  1. What is my risk and my student’s risk of identity theft?
  2. How much coverage do I need and what are my options for identity theft insurance?

How Long Will It Take to Get Answers to My Insurance Questions?

You should be able to get most (if not all) of your information with a phone call or two.  At Bob Johnson Insurance, we are always ready to provide the answers to your questions.  Give us a call at 865-922-3111.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know — Tip #2: Vehicles

Insurance Tips for College Students

In these two weeks, we are discussing insurance tips that every college student should know.  This second tip deals with your vehicle. There are different things to consider depending on your situation.

Coverage Without a Car at College

Even if the student is not driving a car while at school, he or she should still be kept on the policy if driving during breaks or while at home. A distant student discount may apply if the student is attending a school far away from home.

Coverage With a Car at College

Usually a car that is registered to the parents and listed on the policy will still be covered if used by a listed student who is away at college. It’s still important that you verify that the insurance carrier writes coverage where the car will be located and understand that a change in location of the car could change the premium as well.

Driving a Friend’s Car at College

As long as a student is not regularly using the friend’s car and is listed on the parents’ auto policy, he or she should still be covered. However, you should speak with your agent to make sure.

Discounts

You may be able to get a couple of different discounts for the college student. If a student is enrolled in at least four courses per term, is full-time and meets academic qualifications, he or she may qualify for a good student discount. Those under 21 who complete a driver education course could also be eligible for an auto insurance discount.

Auto Questions for Your Insurance Review

Choose the questions that apply to you:

  1. My student will not have a car while they are away at college in [city, state]. Do I qualify for a discount or does that change my rate?
  2. My student will be taking a car/vehicle registered to me with them to college in [city, state].  Are they covered adequately by my policy?
  3. If my student drives someone else’s car while they are at college in [city, state], will they be covered?
  4. Am I eligible for any discounts based on my student being at college in [city, state]?

How Long Will It Take to Get Answers to My Insurance Questions?

You should be able to get most (if not all) of your information with a phone call or two.  At Bob Johnson Insurance, we are always ready to provide the answers to your questions.  Give us a call at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know — Tip #1: Personal Property

Insurance Tips for College Students

In these two weeks, we are discussing insurance tips that every college student should know.  Our first tip deals with personal property. Know what you have AND that your insurance will cover your student’s possessions.

Know What You Have:  Make a List

Keep a list of all of the items the student is taking with them to school to make sure you have enough coverage for everything. It’s also helpful to have photos and receipts if possible.

Make Sure Your Coverage is Adequate

Personal Property Coverage.

Personal property can add up quickly. The student may be taking gaming consoles, expensive clothing or jewelry, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, MP3 players and other things that have high value and could be easily stolen. Depending on the item, it may need special coverage due to its higher value.

Most policies provide ten percent of personal property coverage for property owned that is kept at a residence other than the insured’s. What this means is that if the parent has $100,000 worth of personal property coverage, it will cover up to $10,000 worth of coverage for the student’s property while living in a dorm.

Liability Coverage

Life happens.  Sometimes events are within our control and sometimes they are not.  Although most homeowners insurance policies cover personal property, they do not usually cover damage to property rented.  In the majority of cases, any damage to a dorm room or an apartment wouldn’t be covered.

Renters Insurance.

If the college student is living off-campus in a rented home, the policy of the parents may not provide coverage for the student’s property. This is where renters insurance comes in. In most cases, the landlord’s policies usually only cover the structure itself and not the possessions of the renters.

Personal Property Questions for Your Insurance Review

  1. How much personal property coverage is available for my student who is away at college? Is it adequate?
  2. Does my student have liability coverage in case there is damage to the dorm or the residence (apartment, house, condo, etc.) where they are staying? If so, how much coverage and is it adequate?  If not, how much do they need?
  3. My student will be living in a [dorm, house, apartment, etc.]. Does my student need renter’s insurance?  If so, how much?

How Long Will It Take to Get Answers to My Insurance Questions?

You should be able to get most (if not all) of your information with a phone call or two.  At Bob Johnson Insurance, we are always ready to provide the answers to your questions.  Give us a call at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Insurance Tips Every College Student Should Know

Insurance Tips for College Students

Whether you are a college student getting ready to head off to college or you are a parent preparing to send your son or daughter to the university, insurance may not be something that immediately comes to mind.  There are so many other things to handle!  A percentage of people think about health insurance, but there are four other types of insurance that you definitely need to consider:

  • Personal Property / Homeowners Insurance
  • Auto / Vehicle Insurance
  • Identity Theft Insurance
  • Renters Insurance

Why Should a College Student Consider Their Coverage

College is a lot different than it used to be. Students now have expensive electronics such as tablets, phones and computers that they’ll be taking with them in addition to their clothes. It’s important to protect these items and yourself from theft. Depending on your insurance policy, students may have limited coverage under their parents’ insurance. Therefore, you need to do a quick review with your agent to make sure that you have adequate Tennessee insurance coverage while in school for both personal property as well as for car insurance.

There are additional factors that should be considered as well.  Will your student have a vehicle or not?  How does that affect your rates?  Do you have adequate coverage or too much?  What about damage to the dorm or dwelling?  What if my student’s identity is stolen?  If you wait until you need insurance to know the answers to these questions, it will be too late.

A review can be as quick as a phone call, so there’s no reason to put it off.  Come back over the next few days.  In our next few posts, we will be discussing each of the four types of insurance that you need to review and what you should consider.  We will also include some general insurance tips to help you while you (or your student) are at college.