Frees Advice: College

Borrowing & Lending Cars

The school year is quickly approaching and many students are leaving for their college dorms and apartments. If you are living at college, it’s important to know the implications of borrowing a friend’s car or lending your car to others. If your child is off to college, be sure he/she is also aware of the associated risks of sharing cars. It is a common misconception that the insurance follows the driver; however, insurance actually follows the car. In order to avoid an uncomfortable situation with your friend, try to avoid sharing cars altogether.

For example, your roommate needs to run to the grocery store to pick up a few items and borrows your car. On her way to the store, she rear-ended another vehicle. The primary coverage that would pay for damages to the other driver is your own auto insurance. This means you’d have to:

  • File the claim with your insurance company
  • Pay your collision deductible
  • Accept any resulting rate increases

If the damages exceed your available limits, only then would the roommate’s coverage step in as excess coverage. 

Be sure to think twice before lending your car, otherwise you may be looking at a much higher premium and a strained relationship with your friend or roommate.

Call us to discuss.

Renters Insurance at School

So… it’s that time of the year. Back to school. I know I know. Summer 2k16 is quickly coming to an end. It’s time to pack your things up and head back to school. This year will be different though. You are spreading your wings and escaping the “dorm life.” You and your best friends have rented a “nice” house (or apartment) for the year. It’s going to be incredible. No RAs to tell you to turn down the music. No more mac and cheese from your dorm room microwave. The best part? You can throw parties whenever you want.
Flash forward three weeks. It’s the Sunday morning after the first weekend back at school. You wake up after throwing an “awesome” party and decide to check out your schedule for the week. For some reason, you can’t find your new Macbook. You go downstairs to look for it and you notice that brand new TV is gone too… What happened? I thought we just invited “friends” over. It turns out that your friend invited some “randos” on their walk over and now all of your stuff is gone. Luckily, you and your roommates were smart and all purchased your own renters’ insurance policies and were able to get all of your stolen belongings back. Phew. This is just one benefit of renter’s insurance.
A few months down the road and it’s your 21st birthday. Wahoo! You never tried this “alcohol” and are very excited to celebrate the big day. You start the celebration a little early so you are ready for the bars at midnight. All of your best friends come over to help celebrate. The house gets a little crowded and someone accidentally falls down the stairs. The party continues on and you have a great rest of the night. Unfortunately for the girl who fell down the stairs ends up with a broken leg. Her parents are not happy and end up suing you for the damages. I know this sounds far-fetched but unfortunately it has happened. Once again, your trusty renter’s insurance policy steps in and defends you against the suing parents and pays the settlement and defense costs.
One last thing about renter’s insurance. The included coverage called “loss of use” is incredibly important. You know how you always thought your landlord was a little sketchy? Well, unfortunately after a neighbor accidentally burns down the building from a kitchen fire, your landlord informs you that he does not have the appropriate coverage to pay for new housing for you. Also, that “confusing line” in the lease actually releases him from responsibility of providing somewhere else for you to stay. Once again, the trusty insurance company steps in and will pay to put you in a hotel or new apartment. Just another benefit of this affordable policy.

This fall, make sure you reach out to your insurance agent to discuss whether you need renter’s insurance. Most likely you need it. For about $125 a year (that’s $11 a month) you can purchase personal property coverage of $20,000 and up to $500,000 in liability coverage. Your landlord’s insurance will not protect you or your belongings. I promise you that your belongings are worth more than you think. I promise you that if people can sue, they will sue. Talk to your insurance agent today or give us a call to discuss this imperative coverage.