Posts Tagged ‘ College ’

Renters Insurance For College Students

Renters Insurance for College Students

Renters Insurance Should Be Considered For College Students Living on Their Own
College students renting an off-campus apartment or house while away at school should consider purchasing renters insurance to protect their personal property, such as a computer, television, stereo, bicycle or furniture in the event that it is damaged, destroyed or stolen.
Even if a student is a dependent under his or her parent’s insurance, the student’s personal property may not be covered. Parents should check their policy or contact their insurance agent to see if renters insurance is right for their son or daughter who is away at school.

What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance protects your personal property against damage or loss, and insures you in case someone is injured while on your property. If you live in a rented apartment, house or condominium, your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.
College students living in off-campus housing are ideal candidates for needing renters insurance, since many students bring thousands of dollars’ worth of personal items, such as electronics, a computer, textbooks, clothes, furniture, and a bicycle, with them to school. It is the renter’s responsibility to provide coverage for these valuable items.

Basic Options
Most renters’ insurance policies provide two basic types of coverage: personal property and liability. Personal property coverage pays to repair or replace personal belongings if they are damaged, destroyed, or stolen. This is the most commonly purchased renters’ policy. Liability insurance provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others caused by an accident while on the policyholder’s property.

Shop for the Right Coverage
Another important factor to look for when shopping for renters insurance is “actual cash value” vs. “replacement cost” coverage.
Actual cash-value coverage will reimburse the renter for the cost of the personal property at the time of the claim, minus the deductible. It’s important to account for depreciation when considering this coverage option. For example, if a stereo system were stolen from an apartment fi ve years after the stereo was purchased, the policyholder would be reimbursed for the current value of the system.
Replacement cost coverage, on the other hand, will reimburse the full value of the new stereo system after you purchase the new system and submit your receipts. While the up-front cost is greater, you are more likely to receive accurate compensation for your possessions.

Parents’ Homeowners Insurance
As a parent with your own homeowners’ policy, you may want to contact your agent and ask if your child will be covered while they are away at school. Some companies might still cover your child’s belongings under your policy depending on their age and student status. However, you will still be responsible for your deductible under your policy.
Other Points of Interest Regarding Renters Insurance
When a claim is reported, the insurance company will ask the policyholder for proof of purchase for all items reported on the claim. A comprehensive list of possessions, including purchase prices, model numbers and serial numbers, will suffice. It also is a good idea to take photos or video footage of any personal possessions for documentation, making sure it is stored in a secure, off-site location.

Article Courtesy Of: Fairmont Farmers Mutual Insurance Company

Investment and Insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

Do I Need Renters Insurance in College?

renter-insurance-in-college

Updated: July 2016

When you’re packing for college, you may be thinking about your class schedule and late night pizzas with friends. Someone making off with your laptop or a dorm fire are probably not what you’re envisioning about the campus experience. But since you may be bringing some expensive stuff with you — a television, speakers, clothing and a smartphone — it’s a good idea to make sure these things are protected before you leave home, just in case.

Whether you’re living in the dorm or an off-campus apartment, it’s important to have coverage for all those things that help you keep up with classes and make your living space feel like home. How to help protect your stuff, though, typically depends on where you’re living.

Dorm Life

If you’re living in a dorm or other campus housing, your belongings may be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policy. You’ll want to check with your agent to make sure, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says that students who are younger than 26 and living on campus may be covered through their parents’ policy.

It can be a good idea to know the policy’s coverage limits for personal property. The Insurance Information Institute(III) says some policies limit coverage for belongings while they are away from the policyholder’s home. This is often referred to as “off-premises coverage.” For example, if your parents’ policy provides $100,000 worth of coverage for belongings, but limits that coverage to 10 percent for items that are off-premises, it may provide up to $10,000 for items away from their home, including belongings you bring to school.

It’s also important to note that certain items, such as a laptop, may have coverage limits. If the policy’s limits aren’t enough to cover the items you’ll be bringing to school, the III says your parents may be able to add scheduled personal property coverage, sometimes referred to as a “floater,” to their homeowners or renters insurance policy to help cover certain valuable possessions.

Off-Campus Housing

If you’ll be living in off-campus housing, the III cautions that your parents’ insurance will probably not extend to any belongings you bring with you (although you’ll want to check with your agent to be certain). Your own renters insurance policy may be a good way to help protect your belongings should they be stolen or damaged by a covered loss. (Covered events are often described as “perils” in insurance terms. Read your policy to learn what risks it may cover, such as theft or fire.)

A renters policy will also likely provide liability coverage, which may help prevent you from paying out of pocket if you are found legally responsible for someone else’s injuries or accidental damage to their property (including your landlord’s).

The III recommends asking your agent about coverage limits, as well as whether you may benefit from additional coverage for certain valuables.

Hopefully you and your stuff stay safe and sound while you’re running to and from classes, but it may be a good idea to keep a home inventory — it can be a big help if you ever need to file a claim. Knowing you have coverage for your stuff can bring some peace of mind and help you focus on a great college experience.

Article courtesy of: http://www.allstate.com

 

September is College Savings Month

Little Girl dreaming of graduation

Did you know that September is College Savings Month? It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for college! Here are a few general savings tips:

  • Start saving as early as you can. However old your children are, if you want to help fund their college education, start saving. It is never too early, or too late, to start saving for your child’s college.
  • Find more ways to save: Analyze your spending to see if there’s anything you can cut out to increase your savings. Finding ways to save and making cuts can really add up over time.
  • Automate your savings:The simplest way to start saving is to make it easier on yourself. See if you’re able to automatically deposit a portion of your paycheck into a college account or any savings account for that matter.
  • Prioritize your finances:The world doesn’t stop for college savings, nor does the rest of your financial needs. You need to pay off any debt, especially any credit cards or other high-interest debt. You also need topay off your own student loans (if you have any), establish an emergency fund for yourself, and save for retirement as well.

What happens when you just can’t financially help?

Sometimes the dream of paying for your child’s education is just not within your reach. Or maybe, like some parents, you want your child to pay for their own education to learn how to stand on their own feet and become independent. Either way, there are still things you can do to reduce their student loan debts and how much they’ll have to pay.

  • Motivate them in high school.Work hard to encourage them and keep them motivated during high school. The better grades they have, the more likely they’ll be able to receive scholarships. High grades can also mean they’re eligible for advanced placement courses, which can count toward college credits and therefore reduce the amount of tuition owed. Also encourage them to volunteer and participate in extracurricular activities to increase their chances of getting scholarships.
  • Encourage them to work through high school.As soon as they can get a job, encourage them to do so. This may require your participation, such as driving them to work or helping them fill out taxes when that time rolls around. Have a discussion about what percentage of each paycheck should be put toward college.
  • Help them apply for scholarships.When the time comes, encourage and help them to apply for scholarships.
  • Teach them about student loans.A vital thing you can do for your child is take the time to teach them about financial aid, student loans, what they’ll owe upon graduation, and what that will mean for them in the long run. Help them keep track of financial aid deadlines and make sure your child fills out the FAFSA. This conversation can lead to ways to reduce their student loans while still in school, such as encouraging them to stick to a budget, not misuse student loans, and picking an affordable college to start with.

Citizens Bank Minnesota does have a scholarship opportunity where we award two or more scholarships each year to local graduating seniors who will be attending post-secondary education. Scholarship America performs the selection process and administration. This program was instituted at Citizens as a way to show our commitment to the community and our belief in today’s youth. Citizens plans to continue this tradition for years to come!

You can find out more information about our scholarship at http://www.citizensmn.com/personal/real-life-investors

By: Sarah Seifert, Marketing Assistant/Youth Club Coordinator

Sources: Thesimpledollar.com

Building Your First Budget

As a recent college graduate, I was forced to answer a very difficult question:  How am I going to pay all these bills without any help from Mom and Dad?  I’m still working on answering that question, and admittedly have had to return to the “Bank of Mom and Dad” for a small loan to help cover some gaps in paychecks.  One thing I have done that has helped me through this process immensely is to build and maintain a yearly budget. 

If you are a recent graduate of either high school or college, it is very likely that you have never developed a budget before.  No worries!  I found an interesting article from MSN.com that had some great pointers for building your first budget, and I have pasted a link at the bottom of this entry to the article.  I have also attached an Excel file with an example budget (https://www.citizensmn.com/custom/citizensmn/pdf/Budgeting101-ExampleBudget.xlsx) for you to use.  Simply enter in the amounts you expect to pay up top, and the amounts you actually paid in the bottom (you may need to add or delete some rows to tailor the budget to fit the actual expenses you have each month).  This will help you determine whether you’re able to keep your budget in check, and will help you identify where you’re spending too much if your budget is going awry.  I filled in January with some example numbers to show you the idea.  Erase those, enter your own figures, and the worksheet should do the rest of the calculations for you!

Notice that the example budget calculates a “Budget/Actual” at the very end?  This is a calculation of the difference between the amount you planned on saving versus the amount you actually saved.  Positive numbers mean you were able to save more than you planned, and negative numbers mean you may have to make some changes to your spending habits in order to reach your financial goals. (Notice in the example budget, my Budget to Actual was a negative $61.89, meaning I saved about 62 bucks less than I had planned on saving – better make some changes if I’m going to be able to afford that Ferrari I’ve had my eye on by the time I’m 30!).

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/MoneyInYour20s/HowToBuildYourFirstBudget.aspx?page=1

By Joe Geistfeld, Marketing Intern

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