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Insurance Concerns for Fall
Along with raking leaves and football games, the rites of fall include the start of a new school year and the end of the summer vacation season. If you have a child who headed to school this fall or if you have a vacation home you are closing up for the winter, there are some insurance questions you should consider.
If your child is going away to school – whether it is boarding high school, college or graduate school – give us a call to ensure that your child and you have all the necessary coverages.
For example, if your child is on your car insurance, goes more than 100 miles from home and does not take a car to school, you could be eligible for a discount on your premium. On the other hand, if your child takes a car to school, we should let the insurance carrier know where the car will be located.
If your child lives in a dorm or other student housing, you probably will be offered some kind of dorm insurance to cover property and perhaps even liability losses. We urge you to talk to us before you buy this coverage. Depending on your current policy, it usually is both easier and less expensive to simply extend your current homeowner’s policy to cover your child’s dorm room. And if your child is like most, there probably are not many things of value in the dorm room. We can help you cover damage or loss of specific items, such as a laptop, as an extension of your existing policy.
If your child lives off-campus, he or she probably has to provide a landlord with proof of liability coverage. Again, it is usually fairly easy and inexpensive to extend your homeowner’s coverage to your child’s apartment.
If you purchase a condo or home for your child to live in during college, you obviously will need homeowner’s coverage for that housing. We can help you choose a plan that meets both your needs and your child’s.
Fall is also the time of year when many people close up vacation homes that they don’t use over the winter. If you make this an annual ritual, we suggest that you take extra steps to ensure that you don’t have a heating failure that could lead to broken pipes. Taking precautions might get you a discount on your coverage, and more importantly, it could save you from finding your place flooded in the spring.
Unless you completely shut off the water and drain all the pipes, don’t scrimp on the heat in your unused home. Leave your thermostat set at a temperature that ensures it will stay warm enough to avoid freezing, even when the north winds blow.
You also can consider installing low-temperature and moisture detectors. These monitor the temperature in your house and let you know if it gets too low, and they also let you know about the presence of any unusual moisture, such as from a burst pipe or a hole in your roof. If you already have an alarm system on the house, it can be a simple thing to add these two monitors to your system.
At The Bensman Group, we are always happy to talk with you about these or any other insurance questions. Just contact us at 847-572-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.