iStock 501836733

It’s that time of year again: back-to-school! Are you sending a child off to college? If so, don’t forget to review your insurance coverage before they go back to campus. Remember, your insurance needs change as you and your family members reach certain life milestones. Plus, college is expensive enough without incurring unexpected expenses of an accident uncovered by your current policies.

Health Insurance

Is your child staying on your health insurance policy? If so, he/she is covered until they turn 26. If your child is going to school out of state, check with your insurance company to see how their out-of-state coverage works and ensure that there are in-network providers near the college. If not covered by their parent’s policy, college students have other health care options, such as enrolling in the student health plan offered or purchasing an individual policy.

Car Insurance

Is your child taking a car to campus? Be sure they are covered on your policy or have an individual policy that provides enough coverage. If they are going to college out of state, make sure they at least have the minimum coverage required by that state. Even if your child isn’t taking a car to school, it’s smart for them to remain insured so they are protected when driving a borrowed car.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Unfortunately, theft and burglary are very common on college campuses. Whether your child is living in a dorm, apartment or house, you will want to protect their valuables. Students who live on-campus are usually covered by their parent’s homeowners insurance policy as long as they are listed as a dependent on their policy. However, the extent of coverage depends on policy specifics and limitations, so it’s a good idea to check your policy before relying on it.

Students who live off-campus should obtain a renters insurance policy to protect their valuables and their bank accounts in the case of unfortunate situations, such as fire, theft or on-premise injuries. While renters insurance does NOT cover the building itself, it does cover the stuff in your rented house/apartment, like furniture, valuables and cash. A renters insurance policy can also cover liabilities and additional living expenses, if needed. Renters insurance is fairly affordable, but it’s important to understand the coverage and limitations of your policy.

All in all, it’s best to inform your insurance agent that you have a child going to college and discuss the additional coverage he/she needs depending on your current policies.

Insurance for Every Milestone

“When should I buy life insurance?” “Do I need renters insurance?” “What is disability insurance?” “I’m starting a business. What insurance do I need?”

These are just a few questions that are frequently asked by individuals who are planning for their future and/or entering a new season of life. As your life changes, so should your insurance coverage. While insurance isn’t the most exciting purchase, it is essential for protecting yourself, your loved ones and your wealth.

From buying a car to starting a business, certain life milestones call for reevaluation of your insurance coverage. Some policies are required, while others are strongly recommended. As you reach these common milestones, here are the policies you should consider purchasing:

When you buy a car: Before hitting the road in your new ride, you need personal auto insurance. Many factors impact how much you pay for your premium, including what you drive, your driving history, how often and how far you drive and your credit history, as well as your age, sex and marital status. That being said, your premium may increase or decrease as these factors change throughout your life.

When you start “adulting:” As you enter the workforce and move out from your parents’ home, consider purchasing these policies to protect your livelihood:

  • Health insurance: Children can stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, but once your 26th birthday comes around, you’re required to obtain your own policy.
  • Disability insurance: If you’re relying on your income to live, purchasing disability insurance could be a lifesaver if you become disabled and unable to work for a period.
  • Renters insurance: While it’s not a requirement, renters insurance is something any renter will be glad to have in the case of a fire, leak, or storm.

When you buy a home: If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity. Most policies cover the house itself, your belongings and the liability of someone being injured on your property. Depending on the location of your home, you may need to purchase additional coverage, such as flood insurance.

When you get married and start a family: While you can purchase life insurance at any time, the importance of life insurance increases when you get married and/or start a family. In the event of your death, life insurance offers protection for your family and home by replacing your income. Acquiring life insurance at a younger age is smart because you’re not only healthy, but you also pay the same rate over a period of time.

When you start your own business: As soon as you start your business, no matter the size, you should consider getting commercial insurance. The type of coverage you need will vary based on the type of business you open.

At The Prewitt Group, we are committed to understanding your needs for every stage of life and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss the coverage you need with each life change.

How to Prepare Your Business for Disaster

Did you know that 40 percent of businesses fail to reopen following a disaster? According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), another 25 percent of businesses fail within a year following a disaster. From natural disasters to cyberattacks, your business is at risk of facing downtime following an unfortunate event. In fact, more than 50 percent of companies experienced a downtime event in the past five years that last longer than a full workday.

Recovering from any disaster can be expensive and burdensome to your business, so it’s important to be prepared for emergency expenses and protect your assets with insurance. The saying, “Time is money” certainly applies in business, so minimizing downtime in case of an emergency is imperative.

Prepare for emergency expenses by:

  • Identifying your monthly financial obligations.
  • Creating an emergency fund to purchase supplies or equipment.
  • Having a credit card or line of credit available.
  • Establishing a payroll policy for during and after a disaster.
  • Establish clear strategies for controlling costs in a disaster situation.

Protect your assets with insurance: Meet with an insurance consultant to make sure you have the proper coverage for the disasters and risks your business faces. If you already have policies in place, review them with your insurance consultant to make sure you understand your deductibles, the limits of your insurance and the nature of your coverage. After all, there are many different types of coverage, all of which are subject to limitations and exclusions. For instance, some policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage, so you may need additional protection. In today’s world, you may want to consider obtaining cyber insurance to protect your business from data breaches and cyber-attacks. The Prewitt Group offers various commercial coverages including commercial property, commercial umbrella, boiler and machinery, business automobile and more.

All in all, when it comes to emergency preparedness, focus on prevention and protection. Effective preparedness can benefit the recovery process. It’s important to assess your risks and take steps to minimize damage and downtime.