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August 22, 2012

HOMEOWNERS (may vary by individual policy)

  • Coverage of personal property:    Remind your kids that is a very bad idea to leave valuables (i.e.  lap tops, ipads, ipods, smart phones,  electronic devices, CD’s, wallets, purses etc.)  in the car.   Although, these  items would be generally covered under your home or renter’s insurance consider what your home deductible is.  Most likely it is  $500 or $1,000 meaning  unless more than that amount was stolen you will need to cover the loss yourself anyways.  It is also not wise to turn in small claims.  Having a home claim will effect your premium generally for up to 3 years, and multiple claims can lead to non-renewal.   Home insurance is meant to be there for the big stuff,  such as a kitchen fire, a tree falling on your home or other catastrophic losses.

AUTO (may vary by state)

  • Have you discussed with you teen whether they would lend their car to a friend?    Their answer may surprise you.  Generally, in Washington state insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver.  So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.    It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage.  Because permission must be given by the owner  the borrower cannot give permission to someone else.   So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car your coverage likely won’t apply, and as the registered owner you could still be held liable for what happens with the vehicle.
  • GRADES-  Now is also a great time to discuss with your what your expectations or requirements will be for letting him or her drive.  Some parents have decided that unless their child is maintaining a 3.0 gpa which qualifies them for a significant good student discount they will not be allowed to get a driver’s license  Other’s have required their kids help pay part or all of the added cost to drive.  This can be a great deterrent to getting tickets and having price increase for you and your young driver .

Making sure you have the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future.  We’re happy to discuss your coverage and options — just give us a call or stop by!