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Category Archives: Millennials

Insurance Checklist for Any College Student

By | Auto Insurance, Educate, Home Insurance, Millennials, Personal Insurance | No Comments
College Insurance Checklist

Insurance Checklist for College Students

Insurance coverage for college students can get overwhelming if you do not how to assess risk and understand the coverage of each policy. This insurance checklist is to serve as a primary tool for any parent or student to reference when it comes to covering every angle for the student in college.

Let’s start the insurance checklist with the living situation.

1. Does the student live on or off campus?

[ ] Yes 

If the student lives on campus in a dorm room, their “stuff” will most likely be covered by their parent’s standard homeowners policy. Typically, you will get 10% of coverage (of total coverage) for belongings “off premise” for all people on the insurance policy including your college student. However, all insurance policies have different coverage limitations and exceptions so check with an insurance professional to see if your student’s “stuff” is covered.

[ ] No

If the the student lives off campus in a house or apartment, the student is most likely not covered under the parent’s homeowner policy. In this case, the student will most likely need to get their own renter’s insurance policy. You insurance agent will be able to tell you if you need a separate policy in this situation.

Renter’s insurance policies have several benefits including liability coverage. Depending on the policy, if the student inadvertently harms someone at their place and is held responsible they should have coverage. Make sure liability coverage includes personal injury coverage as this will include lawsuits from a student posting on social media as well.

2. Is your smartphone, TV, or computer insured?

A student’s smartphone, TV, or commuter is not covered under their parent’s homeowner policy and would need a stand alone policy. Typically, you will get offered insurance when you purchase the item from a retailer or the provider. This is most likely the best option of insurance if these are the two most valuable items that the student owns.

3. What are some college pre-cautions my student can take?

a).  Create an inventory list of everything your student is taking to college. Not only list off the name of each item but also list the replacement cost of each item. By doing this, you will know exactly what the student left with at the beginning of the year and if they return with it all. Also, this list is very valuable to your insurance agent as he/she will tell you exactly what policy you need to cover each item.

b) Make sure all of your smart phones and laptops have some sort of tracking app installed on them so you can locate them if they get misplaced or stolen. Many iPhones and Androids have these apps built in the phone. Here are the top apps to track smartphones and laptops.

c) Leave your valuables at home or get a special floater or endorsement added to your existing policy to insure your most valuable belongings such as a luxury watch, jewelry, or heirloom. If you are unsure whether your extremely valuable items are covered, contact your insurance agent right away.

d) Make sure your student has an easily accessible document, photo, or ID card for proof of health insurance. Children are usually covered under their parent’s health insurance policy until 26, but sometimes health insurers have geographical limitations for students attending college outside their home state. Be aware of any on-campus health or medical assistance that is offered to students as well. Ensure your student is covered and able to access medical help any time necessary by having the proper documentation.

4. Is your student still driving a vehicle while at school?

[ ] Never

If the student is going to a college that is over 100 miles away and is not taking a car with them, they will most likely be able to apply for the distant-student discount. Contact an insurance professional to see if your student is eligible for this discount.

[ ] Sometimes

If the student does not bring the car to school with them and only drives the vehicle during school breaks for holiday or when they come back home, then you must leave the student on a policy as if he/she lived at home.

In regards to occasionally driving a friend’s vehicle, the friend’s insurance carrier would most likely serve as the primary insurer then your insurance policy would serve as a backup.

[ ] Always

If the student brought a car to school and is still listed on the insurance policy of their parents, then the insurance carrier should be notified of this change. Sometimes coverage for vehicles changes when it is in a new location, new state, and/or primary driver. This will most likely affect your premium as well. This will avoid any discrepancy if a claim needs to be filed down the road (no pun intended).

Insurance Checklist Reminders

  • The student needs proper coverage for their living situation. This is the most important coverage as off campus living could leave the student without any insurance.
  • Special items likes luxury watches, laptops, and smartphones most likely are not covered and need their own specific insurance policies. Making an inventory list and showing it to your insurance professional is a smart and efficient way to find the right coverage for each item.
  • Auto insurance should remain the same if the student drives moderately. However, if the student does not drive at all then he/she could be eligible for the distant-student discount.
  • Looking into life insurance at a young age is a great idea as it is less expensive and builds a foundation for the individual at a relatively young age.
  • Health insurance is usually active for the student until they are 26. However, students outside of their home state might have limitations when it comes to getting treatment from certain health providers. Look into which health providers are eligible on their policy and what resources the school has available to them.

Avoid Accidents and Astronomical Rates for Your Teens

By | Millennials, Uncategorized | No Comments
Teens Driving

Teens Driving

 

It can be a very exciting and scary moment when your teen is officially allowed to hit the streets as a licensed driver. It’s exciting to start to see your kid begin to mature and develop more independence into a young adult, but at the same time it can cause a lot of stress and worry.

And rightfully so…..

Here are Some Statistics Around Teenagers Driving:

  1. Car crashes are the number 1 cause of death among teens
  2. The crash rate for a teen is 4x the rate for adults
  3. Crash rate is higher for teens at night if others are in the car
  4. 16 year olds crash rate is 2x the rate then 18 and 19 year olds

Not only are teenagers a high risk of losing their life but they are also a huge liability when it comes to making sure you provide sufficient insurance coverage for their early years. This results in ASTRONOMICAL insurance rates.

Instead of worrying and losing sleep at night thinking about how to solve these problems, we have created a list of action items to decrease the danger for your teen and their auto insurance premiums as much as possible.

To ensure you are setting up your teen to thrive as a responsible, safe, driver on the roads, here are some best practices:

Choose the Right Vehicle

The vehicle you want your teen to start their driving career should be known as a reliable, safe, and relatively easy-to-drive car. (Check out top recommended cars for teens.) You will notice that these cars do not have high horsepower because most teens will want to test their limits and underestimate the power of acceleration in certain vehicles.

Some other characteristics to look for in a car is size. Bigger and heavier vehicles take longer to accelerate, provide a higher view to overlook the road and traffic, and provide more safety for your teen if heaven forbid they were to get in an accident. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is another mission critical feature to have in a car which provides stability and control on curves and slippery roads.

Prepare for Success

The are many ways to prepare for success when it comes to helping your teen feel confident on the roads but nothing is better than PRACTICE. Your teen should practice 70 hours either by themselves or with you before they even consider driving with a passenger that is not a trustworthy adult. This will allow them to become comfortable, confident, and responsible when they start driving friends around.

At first, limit their time at night, complex road-systems, and during extreme weather conditions. Obviously all three of these scenarios must be mastered to become a well rounded, responsible driver, but at the beginning start out simple and easy.

Once your teen masters roads that are straightforward during the day, you can then have them transition into the same routes at night. After that, you can propose specific roads in your areas that are more complex like roundabouts, 5 way intersections, and highways. Then, they can try these scenarios at night. Finally, the most difficult challenge as a new driver or driver overall is adapting to weather conditions. Slippery, icy, and sleek roads are extremely dangerous so limited practice with a trusted adult is highly recommended once you are ready for it. Then once you are able to drive on weathered roads at night you empowered to become a responsible and successful driver.

Lastly, as a teen driver you do not want to be in a rush. Please ensure your teen understand the importance of having adequate time to arrive to places in order to drive responsibly versus swerving through traffic and going through yellow lights. This will empower your teen to follow the speed limit as well.

Ninja Tactics to Reduce Auto Rates ASAP

  1. Assign your teen to the least expensive car you own: With one simple adjustment on your auto policy you could save hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month. Make sure you assign your teen to the car that would be the least expensive to replace if it were to get totaled.
  2. Good student discount: This discount can save you hundreds by simply obtaining one of the following: full time student status (12 credit hour min.), maintain a “B average” (3.0 or higher), dean’s list, honors, rank in the top percentile in your graduating class, and/or rank in the top percentile for your ACT and/or SAT test scores.
  3. Telematics: it’s an insurance data-base usage tool that tracks the following metrics: number of miles driven, time of day you drive, and driving behaviors such as hard acceleration or braking. The less you drive, the less you drive during rush hour and night, and the less you accelerate or brake quickly will result in lower premiums. Different insurance companies measure various metrics differently by using an app, a device you attach in your car, or sometimes even a camera.

If you would like to see if you could make any of the adjustments listed above and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month on your premiums, contact us at 216-696-3000.

Be the Role Model for Your Teens

1/3 of teens crash from speeding. One great way to lower the possibility of this occurring for your teen is through setting the example. Any time your teen is with you make sure you follow the speed limit. You do not want to be a hypocrite.

In addition to following the speed limit, make sure you stay away from multitasking while you drive such as: texting, calling, eating, personal makeup or grooming, and especially drinking. Finally, always wear your seat belt to inspire your teen to follow and do likewise.

Home Buying Process Simplified for Millennials

By | Business Insurance, Educate, Millennials, Personal Insurance, Uncategorized | No Comments

As millennials get older, understanding the home buying process is essential.

Picture of home: home buying process

During your 20’s, you are in your prime. You are continuing to find ways to start new chapters in your life. You graduate college, then you start your first job, next you rent your own place, and finally you are completely financially independent.

Once, you start to progress in life and start seeing increases in your bank account. You realize that most of that money is going to rent. You ask yourself, “Should I buy a home?”

This is the first step in the home buying process.

1. Decide If You are Ready to Be a Homeowner

The early phases of buying a home are exciting as you have limited responsibilities. You have no property to sell because you are simply renting. As the buyer, you have all the power and flexibility to choose what you want.

However, along with this freedom of choosing your dream home, considering if you are ready to make this commitment mentally, physically, financially is crucial. Ask these 5 Questions to Determine if You are Ready to be a Home Buyer.

Buying a home is a huge commitment mentally. You must be ready to live there for an extended period of time. Depending on the loan and monthly payment, it could take you over 15 years to pay off your house.

Answer these questions to determine if you are ready for the commitment.

This means not being able to hop around at will and relocate freely. If you do plan to commit mentally, do you plan to have a family? Will you be happy staying at your current job? All of these questions need to be asked when considering buying a home.

Physically, owning a home can be tough. Homeownership comes along with a lot of responsibility as you must take care of your lawn, maintain the structure (roof, exterior, interior, etc.), and be ready to fix it if breaks.

If your hot water take breaks or your furnaces blows out, be ready to take cold showers and live without heat. This is your home so this means this is your responsibility to take care of it. In these situations, you are most likely going to hire a contractor. But what if your windows need to be replaced? There’s a leak in your ceiling or your carpet needs repair?

These smaller tasks can be do-it-yourself jobs. Not only would it save you money, but it will take up your time and physical energy to figure it out. Hopefully you can keep these inconveniences to a minimum, but if you are faced with them keep this complete DIY Guide handy.

Now you have understood the commitment it takes to own a home mentally and physically, what about financially? This leads me to the next part of the home buying process:

2. Understand Your Finances

You should know down to the tee how much your monthly expenses are currently before you go any further in the home buying process. This is extremely important as your planning to make a huge purchase that could be an unpleasant financial burden if not planned out accordingly.

Think about your standard of living right now. How much money do you make right now per month? What type of house could you afford?

These questions must have definitive answers as your realtor and bank will provide variants. It is not uncommon for a bank to quote you for a mortgage that is 2x more than you can afford.

Understand the 30/30 Rule to Understand the Home Buying Process

The rule of thumb to use when deciding what type of house you can afford in the home buying process is using the 30/30 principle. This law states that you must be able to put down 20% of the total price and have 10% buffer left in the bank to cover any unexpected expenses.

For example, if you are looking to buy a $300,000 home you must be able to put down $60,000 and have $30,000 saved up in your bank account.

The theory driving this principle is that: The best time to purchase property is when you can afford it.

Follow the 30/30 rule and you should be prepared for the purchase, but if you are yet to have your money right make sure you take the steps necessary to save for your down payment.

In addition to saving up for your down payment, you need to make sure your credit score is in check when applying for loans. Aim for anything above 700 to ensure a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage.

Keep in mind any expenses that you are currently obligated to (those dreaded student loans) and combine them with all the unexpected expenses that come with owning a home.

To name a few, home inspections, property tax, insurance, and maintenance can add up. This is only the beginning so make sure you check out 11 Hidden Costs of Owning a Home.

Now that you understand where you are financially and where you need to be at, you need to find the right home as the next step in the home buying process:

3. Prospecting the Right Homes

Now, there are many factors when picking out the perfect home for you or yourself and spouse. This includes price, current condition of the home, location, and the market.

Knowing all the costs in addition to the retail price for a home, the costs can be expensive. In order to make this huge commitment physically, mentally, and financially you must understand your needs.

Do you want to live in the peaceful countryside? Would you prefer being in an upscale urban area or would you prefer a nice suburban area to start a family?

What lifestyle do you want to live?

The answers to these questions depend on the lifestyle you want to live. Do you want to start a family? Do you want to be close to the city for the social aspect? Would you rather live in the country side to pursue your outdoor hobbies?

Many of these questions have to deal with location. Different locations are associated with different tax amounts. Derek Carr the QB for the Las Vegas Raiders saved $8.7 million for the upcoming year in taxes alone for moving from Oakland to Las Vegas.

Not to mention location is extremely important when it comes to the school systems available to you and your kids if that is the route you plan to take.

After you figured out your lifestyle and location, you can start narrowing your search by looking at specific houses in the neighborhood.

What type of home do you want?

Some key things to remember when looking for specific houses in a neighborhood are: do you want to save money through a “fixer upper”, are you financially stable for the purchase of a brand new home, or would you prefer building it from scratch?

The most expensive option would be building it from scratch, but it would be well worth it. You are literally customizing every square inch of your dream home. This could be a viable option if your other prospective homes need repairs and if you are financially capable.

Even though a custom built home would be amazing, it’s expensive. However, there are really nice houses already made at reasonable prices.

In terms of looking at already built houses, understand all of the home buying deal breakers. This includes the roof, plumbing, flood zone, and more.

What could a faulty roof cost you?

A faulty roof could cost you over $10,000 so make sure you are buying a house with a roof that’s intact.

In terms of flood zones, use this tool provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to find out what type of flood zone your house would be in. Depending on your flood zone, will determine the price of insurance you would have to purchase.

Any information needed to be learned can be found and purchased from the The National Flood Program.

Next, make sure you have a home inspector look at the house to examine the plumbing and electrical system of the house which could be very costly to replace.

After you know what your deal breakers are, you can confidently search for the right home. Do not get caught up on imperfections like paint and tile as you can make these repairs relatively inexpensively.

Make the Offer

Once you have made the commitment of buying a home, got pre-approved for your mortgage, saved up for the down payment, chose the house perfect for you, you are know ready to make an offer.

Please note you can always contact a trusted realtor during any step in the home buying process. This person will make sure all the necessary paperwork gets filed correctly along with any necessary inspections of the home to ensure quality.

Also, understand that buying a new home is a huge deal. There is a lot of paperwork. Be prepared to create a contract that clearly states the transaction taking place.

Most importantly, after that dream house is decided. You need adequate insurance coverage to protect it. The best way to find the best price is through an independent insurance agency who could quote your through a variety of insurance companies. Get a quote today!

Millennials Focus on College not Insurance

By | Educate, FAQ, Millennials, Uncategorized | No Comments

Millennials

As the largest and most educated generation, you would expect that millennials would take insurance coverage seriously. Sadly, studies reveal that one in four adults between 18 years to 29 years do not have health insurance. Furthermore, millennials are less likely to take up other forms of insurance like auto, life, home, and renters. As the most educated generation, millennials need to learn the importance of having insurance.

According to research and interviews surveyed among millennials, it was found that millennials view insurance as an unnecessary expense. To them, they don’t need it and won’t need it any time soon. To the older generation, they appear as a generation that is subservient of the punches and curve balls that life throws at people each day.

While insurance does not inspire excitement, its impact on one’s life is virtually unrivaled. At some point in life, an individual will experience misfortunes such as theft, flooded home, fire, car accident, or others. Misfortunes are not planned and since they occur without any prior confirmation, it is wise to protect yourself.

Insurance provides peace of mind especially when faced with difficult situations. It can help you to settle financial problems brought about by misfortunes. Furthermore, getting insurance does not mean that you are paranoid, it means you are smart.

Here is an insurance checklist all millennials graduating college should keep in mind.

1. Research different types of insurance products

As a millennial, the first thing you need to do is learn about the different types of insurance products available in the market. There are those insurance products that have been around for a long time for example car, home, renters, life, and health insurance.

Today, rider share services like Uber and Lyft have offered millennials job opportunities but what many don’t know is that your personal car insurance does not cover commercial use and there is an insurance gap. It is important to learn more about comprehensive car insurance, smartphone protection plan, travel insurance and others. What are their pros and cons? What do they cover? Should millennials buy life insurance? This will help you to stay informed.

While researching, it is important to learn the terms and conditions, the premium rates charged for different levels of insurance products, and the best insurance companies.

2. Itemize your expenses

It is wise to take time and learn what you want and what you need. Today, millennials are faced with tough decisions when it comes to spending. Many will opt to order in rather than shop at a grocery store and prepare meals at home. Others will opt to own a car yet they cannot afford to maintain it properly. In order to plan your life, you need to itemize your expenses.

You can divide your expenses in three categories: ongoing, immediate and future. Examples of immediate expenses include mortgage, uncovered medical expenses, funeral costs, car loans, credit card debt, taxes and estate settlement costs.

Examples of ongoing expenses include food, rent, utilities, transportation, health care and clothing. Future expenses include retirement and insurance. If your ongoing and immediate expenses are more than your income, then it’s time to spend wisely. Take a bus or subway as the travel insurance costs are less, cook more instead of eating out and pay off your credit card debt to improve your credit score.

3. Talk with an experienced insurance professional

While your parents and older siblings have interacted with insurance brokers and have covered themselves with 2 or more insurance products, they don’t count. Millennials need to learn how to identify a good insurance company within your area. Walk in and make an appointment to speak with an experienced professional.

It is important to have a list of questions prepared early to allow for a constructive interview. Furthermore, it allows you to learn more about the products they have to offer. Experienced insurance agents will always provide you with tons of useful information even helping you create a customized insurance plan which covers important aspects of your life. This will not only help to ensure you are protected but it will save you money.

4. Find where to buy insurance

Today, there are several options of buying insurance not only health insurance but car, travel, smartphone protection plan, renters, home, and life insurance among others. If you are looking for health insurance providers, you can always start with the government health exchange or state exchange.

Millennials can also consult private companies. Doing so helps you to sample the different plans on offer and select one that fits your lifestyle. What you need to know is that when it comes to insurance, finding the best deals on premium should not be your goal but the best plan that fits you. Look at the options and support on offer too.

5. Read and re-read the fine print

Now that you have learned all about the different types of insurance products, their options and the market places where you can purchase them, it’s time to pick a plan. Once you have selected a plan that fits your lifestyle, you will be given forms to fill.

While millennials are said to be the largest educated generation, when it comes to contracts, many do not take time to read the fine print carefully. Scanning the documents quickly will result in you missing a key detail(s). This one detail can result in you not being compensated or result in you not being covered for something.

So, to avoid such mishaps, millennials should take their time to read and re-read the fine print. If you don’t understand what some phrases mean, consult an expert within or outside the insurance company. Having a better understanding of what you are getting into will save you a lot of money now and in the future.

Congratulations!

You have gone through the insurance checklist every millennial graduating college needs to know finally picking up a plan that fits their lifestyle. At this point, you need to know that you have added a new expense in your life – insurance premium. You need to keep up with the payments just like you do with your college loan, credit card payments, rent and other utilities. Not making the payments early will result in you not being covered and you may end up being penalized too.

Just a recap of the insurance checklist for millennials – start by learning more about different insurance products, itemize your expenses, consult an experienced insurance professional, learn where to buy insurance, select the right plan that fits your lifestyle and re-read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. It’s time to let go off the bullet proof attitude because misfortunes can occur at any time. Smart thinking will protect you.

Life Insurance and its Purpose for Millennials

By | Educate, FAQ, Life Insurance, Millennials | No Comments

Life Insurance for Millennials- Brooks and Stafford

(5 minute read)

Millennials often ask the question, “What is life insurance and do I need it?”

As a millennial myself, I can confidently say that life insurance can be beneficial for young adults.

Firstly, it is important to understand what life insurance is and how it can benefit you.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract with an insurer (insurance company) that pays out a lump sum of money (death benefit) to beneficiaries after the person insured passes away.

For example, a man has a wife and two kids. His wife is a stay at home mom that depends on her husband financially. The kids are still too young to work and depend on him financially as well. The husband passes away (with life insurance).

Not only have they lost a loved one, but they also have to pay the costs associated with the funeral and find a way to make an income to make up for his loss.

Since there was a life insurance policy in place, the funeral expenses are covered and the family continues to receive the same income as they would as if the father/husband were still alive.

This example proves that:

  1. Life insurance is a safety net.
  2. A person can still provide for their loved ones after he or she passes away if they prepare properly.

In the example above, the dependents are the kids and wife. The money they receive after the man’s death is the death benefit.

What are the different types of life insurance?

There are two types of life insurance policies: a term life insurance policy and a permanent life insurance policy.

A term policy is purchased for a period of time.

This type of policy would only be lump sum of money (death benefit) paid out to your dependents if you were to pass away during the term of the policy.

Term policies are usually sold for 5,10, 15,…30 years.

These are called level terms and are one of the most common types of term insurance. However, there are more types of term life insurance.

Term insurance can be inexpensive, but once the policy ends so does your coverage.

Permanent life insurance lasts your whole life and has a saving component as well (the “Cash Value Component” section in this article describes this nicely.)

Due to both of those reasons, expect to pay higher premiums  for a longer period of time.

To learn more about which option is best for you by consulting with experienced professionals at this Cleveland Insurance Agency.

Why would someone consider life insurance at a young age?

1. Dependents will be covered financially if you were to die. (Yes, it is possible to have dependents at a young age)

Consider a spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, children, parents, grandparents, or anyone else that depends on you financially.

If anyone depends on you, you should be considering life insurance.

Also, it is very common for a millennial to graduate college with a significant amount of student loans.

You might be responsible for these loans or you might have a c0-signer (like a parent or guardian) helping you out.

God forbid, if anything were to happen to you, your co-signer would be responsible for any unpaid student loans. A life insurance policy would help pay off this financial burden.

2. Life insurance is less expensive at a young age (when your healthy).

Many young people consider themselves invincible until something bad happens to their health.

If you wait to buy life insurance when you are unhealthy, expect to pay higher premiums.

Avoid this problem, by purchasing life insurance at a time when you are healthy and expect to pay relatively low premiums.

3. You can tell your friends you are saving for the future.

The Cash Value component of permanent life insurance forces you to save for your future.

This helps people at a young age to generate positive money habits. Check out how much money you can save through this life insurance calculator.

Many millennials are known to spend their money on short-term products that do not serve a long term purpose.

Be an outlier and make saving for your future a priority. Permanent life insurance will help hold you accountable.

4. Be financially independent by being responsible for all your expenses (including your funeral expenses).

It says a lot about your character if you make the decision to cover your funeral expenses as well.

5. Be covered all the time.

Some jobs offer life insurance benefits during the on boarding process of a new employee.

However, in most cases you will not have this coverage follow you if you were to switch jobs (which is starting become the new norm).

Having your own life insurance will follow you anywhere and allow you to be covered all the time.

Millennials and Life Insurance

In conclusion, millennials are perfect candidates for life insurance if you have dependents and want to improve your saving habits.

If you are a single person with no one depending on you financially and have awesome saving habits, you may not actually need life insurance unlike auto insurance (find out 5 easy ways to save money on auto insurance).

However, a term policy could be a great low commitment and inexpensive option for the time being.

Regardless of what option you are considering, always make sure to get a quote from multiple companies.

Life insurance is simply a safety net, to ensure that funds will be in place when you are no longer here.

If you are still unsure about what policy is right for you or want clarification on terminology, contact a trusted Cleveland Insurance Agency that has been around since 1849.

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