Graduation can be both exciting and scary as high-school seniors and parents move to a new stage of their lives. Preparing for college, finding a job and a place to live are just a few of the tasks teens will face this summer as they ready themselves for life after high school.
During this hectic period, families can easily overlook needed adjustments to insurance policies that cover their young adults.
“Graduation is a time to celebrate achievement and a bright future for graduates,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “It’s definitely not the time to find out you don’t have enough coverage, or the right coverage, if an accident happens.”
Often, a family might not need more coverage, just changes in the way coverage is set up. NW Insurance Council encourages teens and parents to talk with their insurance company or agent to discuss their insurance needs before or immediately after graduation day.
Here are a few scenarios that should raise a red flag for graduates and parents:
A high school or college graduate permanently moves away from home. This creates a possible coverage problem for personal property, since a child must reside in the parent’s household for the child’s personal property to be covered under the parent’s policy. If the graduate permanently relocates, he or she may need an inexpensive Renters Insurance policy. If the child lives in a school dorm room, however, he and his personal property are covered under his parent’s policy.
- A high school or college graduate takes a summer job as a delivery person for a pizza parlor and uses his or her own car (or one owned by parents) to make deliveries. Because many personal automobile insurance policies exclude deliveries, this creates a coverage problem for damage caused in an accident when delivering pizza.
- A high school or college graduate gets involved in a volunteer program transporting young people, the homeless or the elderly from one place to another and uses his or her own car (or one owned by the parents). The parents could be liable, according to their auto policy, for injuries or property damage that occur while their child is driving.
- A graduate gets a job and starts driving a family car much more than they used to. If the car is insured through the parents, this could create a need for coverage adjustment because some policies specify that the car will not be driven to work or will only be driven a limited number of miles per day.
As parents and seniors prepare for graduation day, it’s important that families check with their insurance company or agent to see how their coverage may need to be changed. A few minutes adjusting coverage can prevent long-term headaches after this year’s graduates continue down the Walk of Life.