Congratulations! The dorm room was a hit, the roommate is great, books are bought, meal card is full and classes started this week. Gulp. Now that things are slowing down (and your wallet's a little lighter), a few questions may be surfacing.
“If Jack goes off to college and doesn’t take a car, can I take him off our auto policy?”
Not recommended. However, you should notify your agent to change him to an “occasional driver,” which is less premium.
Jack needs to be protected if:
He returns home for a weekend, a holiday or for the summer and wants to drive.
He’s the designated driver while driving a friend’s car.
While driving the friend’s car, it’s not adequately insured.
He’s hit by a car while walking or bicycling.
He’s a passenger in somebody else’s car and is injured.
Bottom line? Best to keep him on your policy.
Also note that:
Continuous coverage may help reduce his rate when it’s time for Jack to purchase his own auto policy.
If Jack maintained a 3.0 GPA or above in high school, contact your insurance agent and see if you can get a “good student” discount. You will need to provide a high school transcript or the most recent report card.
Also, if Jack took a defensive driving class in the last three years, he may qualify for a discount. You will be asked to provide a certificate of completion.
“What if Jane takes her car to school? Can she still remain on our auto policy?”
Yes, Jane may remain on your policy unless she owns the vehicle and holds the title. If that is the case, she will need her own policy (typically more expensive).
“Do I need to do anything else?”
Notify your agent of Jane’s new garage address.
Make sure your policy meets the minimum auto liability requirements if she has moved out of state.
Make sure the current “insurance card” or “proof of insurance” is in her car.
Confirm that your coverage includes; fuel delivery, towing, lockout service, jump start or help changing a tire, or you have obtained another source for roadside assistance. Put the phone number in her cell phone so she has it when or if she needs it.
Put your insurance company’s claims number in her phone or download the claims app from the carrier. It should give her access to an accident help section that lists everything from towing, photographing the scene of an accident, gathering accident information and starting the claims process.
“What information should Jane obtain if she is in an accident?”
If there are injuries:
Dial 9-1-1 immediately.
Do not admit fault.
Collect the following:
Names of all people involved in the accident - take a picture of each person’s driver’s license and confirm the current address.
Get phone numbers for all people involved in the accident.
Take pictures of all insurance cards.
Take pictures of all license plates.
Get names and phone numbers of witnesses.
Take pictures of the damage, (people and cars). This information is for you and your claims adjuster only.
If your vehicle can not be driven, call a tow truck and take all personal items with you, such as personal information, valuables and clothing.
Call your insurance company’s claim service.
Leave a few pre-paid car wash vouchers in her car. (She’ll thank you later. Don’t you wish you could do the same for the dorm room?)