Now comes that time of year when the chicks are getting ready to leave the nest. For some parents, this is a time of weeping and wailing. The young things have been underfoot for so long, they will be missed. Other may breathe a sigh of relief. Teen rebelliousness is great in theory and not something you want to continue living with. But not only are there physical and emotional adjustments to make as the chicks relocate, there may also be legal and financial implications to consider. Just think what they may be taking with them. They may have computers and game consoles, televisions and music equipment of different shapes and sizes. Then come all the handheld phones and the digital necessities of life. And that’s before we get to clothes and the occasional book (only joking).
So you look ahead. All this is going where? Into residence halls, frat and sorority houses, or rented accommodation off campus. None of these are the most secure of environments. It’s easy for things to get lost or walk away. So you review you homeowners policy to see what is covered. The good news is the majority of policies continue coverage for full-time students while at school. The limit is up to 10% of the home contents insured on the main policy. If there are individually expensive items like some of the state-of-the-art computers or, for your daughters, clothing and jewelry, it may be better to add a little extra coverage. As with all things connected with insurance, plan ahead. Make a full list of everything that is going. If there are serial numbers to go with the models, record them. Check out whether you still have the receipts as proof of ownership. If these are valuable, make permanent marks on them somewhere visible so they are easier to identify if stolen.
But the real issues come to the fore with transport. For those more unusual chicks bitten by the green bug, they may be leaving with a bicycle. The others will depend on the “vehicle”. So take out the policy. Does your child drive your vehicle and now leaves you with sole custody? If so, you should contact the insurer. During term time, you will be entitled to a reduction in the premium. But if your child has the use of a vehicle, in whose name is it? If you remain the owner, the vehicle will probably remain insured while in the same state. But, you should tell the auto insurance company “your” vehicle will now be kept at a different address. This may change the risk should that ZIP code have a more serious crime rate for theft and vandalism. Going out of state on a more permanent basis is a real change of circumstances, particularly if the mandatory minimum liability cover is set at a higher level. If the vehicle is already in your child’s name, going off to college and, if the news is good, a higher GPA may well justify a discount at the next renewal. Always tell your auto insurance company of any change as soon as it happens.
Haz Duell has shared his vision and professional opinion on a vast array of topics and http://www.autogismo.com/when-children-head-off-to-college.html is one of the sites where you can read more of Haz Duell’s contributions.