It’s August, which means the stores are all touting their back to school sales, kids are being re-conditioned to go to bed and get up at more normal times, and the days aren’t necessarily cooler, but they are getting shorter. It also means it’s time to review your insurance needs, because a change in a child’s grade level, a teenager getting their driver’s license, or even having a college freshman in the family can all require changes in auto, health, or homeowners coverage.
If your teen will be old enough to take driver’s education classes at school and get a learner’s permit, you need to consider adding him or her to your auto insurance policy. There are many discounts available for teen drivers who have good grades, take extra defensive driving classes, and drive safer cars.
If you have an older teen heading off to college, consider saving money by having them leave the car at home (there is special reduced coverage for students), or transitioning them to their own policy.
All kids, no matter what grade they’re going into, should have physicals before they begin school, since germs show up for class at about the same time children do. Health insurance should cover this, but it may need to be reevaluated if you have a child with a chronic health issue, like asthma or diabetes, or a child involved in sports. In some cases, schools may require proof of coverage for student athletes.
As your children age, it may be time to consider changing their primary care physician from a pediatrician to a general or family practitioner, especially for girls who are menstruating. College students, on the other hand, have the option of using college-provided health insurance (for a fee) and campus-based health care.
You’ll want to go over your coverage and your premiums – and don’t forget to look at optional insurance for things like vision and dental care – glasses, contacts and braces are all things you may have to finance during your children’s school years.
Of course, if your kids aren’t already listed on your employer-provided health plan, be sure to do that if they don’t have insurance from another source.
If your child is studying music or recently acquired a new computer, check to make sure the coverage for contents of your home includes these items – you may have to expand the coverage. Similarly, if you have a son or daughter going off to boarding school or college, you may need to add enough homeowners insurance coverage to account for their belongings at school . Their stuff should be covered, but insurers have different rules for exactly what, and how much, is covered away from home.
Back-to-school isn’t just the time of year when you rejoice at having your house back, and a regular routine in place. It’s also the time to review your insurance needs.