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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Insurance University: Tips for the College Bound

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Sat, Feb 25, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

    Insure your college student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAFor many young adults, college is an incredibly liberating experience and a time of emotional and intellectual growth as fledgling freshman adventure further along the path of higher education. Unfortunately, many of the high tech gadgets and electronics that pepper dorm rooms can also find it an incredibly liberating experience… as they adventure out of the dorm in the hands of a thief.  The reality is that theft on college campuses does occur, according to the Newton’s 2nd law of theft:

    Expensive Electronics + Doors Left Open + The Occasional Dorm Party = Theft

    Fortunately, insuring the things your student takes away to college can be insured easily and affordably. Here’s what you should know.

    1. You’re probably already covered: Most students are covered under their parents’ homeowners policy, as long as they still list their primary residence as their home address rather than their dorm room. No need to fear if your student has enough electronics littering his or her dorm room to disrupt aircraft radar within a five mile radius; there is generally a 10% coverage rule that protects 10% of the value of your personal belongings worldwide (which includes hotel rooms, temporary residences, etc).  Even so, it’s probably a good idea to call your insurance provider and double check that your college bound daughter or son is covered.
    2. Yes, that includes Healthcare: A recent change in national law recently superseded the state’s coverage policy.  The old law stated that all full time students who are still dependent are covered under their parents’ policy to age 25. The new healthcare legislation further extended this to all non-married children up to 26 years of age.
    3. The abandoned car: many students go off to college and leave their cars at home. Make sure you aren’t paying top dollar for a car that will sit in your garage all year and only endanger the lawnmower next to it. Call your insurance agent and ask for a discount if the car will not be at school.  Furthermore, ask if good student discounts are available should your studious scholar return home to use the vehicle. 
    4. After Graduation: After your college student graduates and takes up residence elsewhere, the rules of the game change. They will no longer be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but will instead most likely need tenant insurance for their apartment or rented house. However, these policies are very affordable and will cover anything in the apartment that would break if someone “turned the apartment upside down and shook it” (Meehan Insurance).

    Cover your college bound student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAEven with this information, it’s a good idea to call your professional insurance provider and have a conversation about your son or daughter’s coverage before they leave for college. The short amount of time on the phone could save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

    Additionally, an ounce of prevention is worth a time honored cliché (or a pound of cure). It’s worth taking the time to prevent the theft of items that your students own. You can protect laptops from theft by purchasing a notebook combination lock (several affordable products are listed here). Another good use of time is to photograph all valuable items and take down serial numbers and other information then store them in a GoogleDocs document; if you have a google account, you already have access to this feature. If you don’t, setting up an account is free, easy, and you can access your documents from any computer with internet access. Taking preventative measures before the next dorm party can keep your son or daughter’s electronics from “walking out” in the middle of the chaos.

    For more insurance tips, information, resources, and quotes, visit us at the A. G. Gordon, Inc website. Learn more about personal insurance here

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: home, theft, auto, policy, insurance, student, massachusetts, prevention, university, college

    Identity Theft Prevention: College

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Wed, Feb 01, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

    describe the imageCollege provides a whole new world to students along with independence and a perspective into the “real world”. However, in order to do this, many college students find themselves sharing personal space with many people that they don’t know. Here are some helpful hints for college teens to ward off identity thieves.

    Mail

    College students are constantly out and about; trips, vacations, and time away from school leave personal mail to ferment in student mailboxes.  Make sure your teen doesn’t leave mail lying around, and have him or her cancel any mail during vacations or holidays.

    Personal Possessions

    It is a myth that identity theft occurs over the internet with the disclosure of online account numbers and passwords. A large portion of identity thieves make an honest living by rolling up their sleeves and stealing identification the old-fashioned way. Make sure your teen carefully guards his or her computer, wallet, or purse. One moment of carelessness can lead to devastating consequences.  Here's one strategy when several students live together: let one laptop take one for the team for general browsing, but never for on-line transactions or access to secure accounts.  Checking the hours of the cafe is one thing; but for on-line banking, use your own secure machine.

    Personal Questions:

    Many college students are not suspicious about requests for personal information, especially when it seems to come from a legitimate source, such as a landlord or dormitory. Advise your teen to always question the need to reveal personal information. Additionally, make sure your teen NEVER USES SCHOOL COMPUTERS TO CONDUCT BUSINESS, such as online banking or logging in. Taking identification information from public computer terminals is easier for identity thieves than taking candy (and social security number) from a baby.

    Shredders

    One of the best ways to dispose of personal documents such as mail and bills is to use a shredder. They’re cheap, and generally eliminate the possibility of a thief recovering documents from the trash.

    Facebook 

    Using Facebook is an activity that many college students would not feel normal without. However, thieves can use the public information to gain access to a student’s identity. A common misconception is that a Facebook profile is visible only to friends; a remarkable amount of information can be recovered with a simple google search for a profile. Here are a few things to leave off your profile:

    Date of birth- Everyone likes getting notifications on their birthday, but leave the year out, or change the date to another day of the month.  One of the most common ways to validate credit information over the phone is through date of birth. Don’t let yours land on the internet.

    Travel Plans- Posting Vacation times or specific plans alerts both identity and regular thieves as to when your college student is away, and/or their location. Don’t extend the thieves a written invitation to burglarize a dorm or make a trip to the bank. They might be closer than your teen suspects.

    DON’T POST A PERSONAL PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS ON A FACEBOOK PAGE, except possibly your phone,  for Friends ONLY.

    And NEVER, ever, ever post your mother’s maiden name on your page (the most asked security question online); you are handing your online transactions over to identity thieves on a silver platter.

    2-Step Verification

    In light of the recent theft of celebrity photos from on-line accounts, assume that nothing kept on your mobile device is truly private.  But to secure your personal information further, use 2-step verification.  This is a feature where you can have the host (Google, LinkedIn, etc.) text another device (such as your smart phone) a one time code to access your account. Use this at least for whenever a new device tries to access your account, such as when you're traveling or accessing from another network. This is similar to the need for two keys to access your safe deposit box at the bank:  Two steps may take time, but isn't your private information worth protecting?

    Learn more about personal safety and insurance tips here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?    

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, id, prevention, college, identity

    Six Things to do Before Your Child Leaves for College

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Aug 12, 2016 @ 11:31 AM

    In a few weeks, I will pack up and head for my sophomore year of college.  My experiences last year at school and this summer working at Gordon Insurance have opened my eyes to a few things that are sometimes overlooked when sending a child off to school.  

    1. Go shopping. Your child is essentially moving out and living on their own.  Things like nail clippers, tissues, extension cords, scotch tape, or an umbrella can be overlooked, as they usually can be found at the back of a closet or drawer at home.  Also, make sure they have extra socks, as many will get lost in the dorm laundry room.  It is totally normal to feel as though you have way too much stuff the first time around.  Your child will figure out what they do and don’t need over the course of the first semester.

    1. Make sure your child has proper life insurance. For many families, sending a child to college means taking out loans.  These loans come in two types: Federal and Private.  If anything were to happen to a student who is still paying off a federal loan, all debt would disappear at death.  However, this is not the case with a private loan.  Most private loans require a co-signer, whether it is a parent or a spouse, who would take on the responsibility of paying.  Be aware that sometimes banks will require an accelerated rate of payment or even demand to receive all of the money immediately.  This is why adequate life insurance for your student is important.  A good policy will help soften the blow of these payments.

    1. Teach them the basics. In some ways, dorm life is like summer camp, but it can feel overwhelming (especially in the last weeks before move in day).  Your 18 year old probably has basic life skills down, but it doesn’t hurt to go over a few things before they leave for a sense of security.  Teach them how a bank account works and how to cook basic things like pasta or brownies.  If they are going to school in the city, go over the public transportation system.  Have them download Venmo, an app that allows you to transfer money to and from your friends (or your parents).  Not many people keep cash on them at school, so it is very helpful.

    1. Educate your child about identity theft. Although this may seem a little bit extreme, college students are easy targets for identity and credit card fraud as they are on their own for the first time and may not be as cautious.  Make sure your child knows their social security number, but warn them to share it sparingly and to keep any physical documents where it is listen in a safe place.  Also, when asked for personal information from the school, both you and your child should ask why the information is needed and how it will be used.

    1. Get an “Away at School” discount on your auto insurance. Most companies will offer a discount on auto insurance while your child is away because they will not be using the car.  In order to get this discount the school must be at least 100 miles away from where you live.  This discount is not applicable if your child brings their car to school, but it is still important to call your insurance agency if they are bringing a car with them, as adjustments must be made to your policy.

    1. Spend time together. In a few weeks, you will be in contact only by means of FaceTime or the occasional text.  Plan around the whole family and do something fun that you can hold onto in the emotional weeks ahead.  This is an exciting time! Enjoy it and good luck.

     
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    Tags: identity theft, student, parents, life insurance, Auto Insurance, college, insurance discounts, family

    Insurance for the College Student

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 12:11 PM

    Insure your college student with home auto life personal insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncYou can find a college student almost anywhere you go. Some college students stay close to home, others go far, far away. Regardless of where your student ends up, one thing is certain: they're going to need insurance.

    Health Insurance

    Most colleges and universities require their students to have some form of health insurance. Luckily for me, I'm staying in state (Go Huskies!) and my health insurance for MA will still cover for all my health insurance needs. However, not all college kids stay in their home state. In fact, one of my best friends is traveling across the country to the west coast.

    You should always check with your insurance provider about the cost of insurance out-of-state, if it is even offered. If not, you could always have your student go with health insurance offered by the university. Finding information about university health insurance should not be too difficult. Search the area of the website dedicated to new students. Websites typically list required immunizations as well as the insurance plan required by the school. If you have existing insurance that works, you can waive out of the university insurance plan. If not, most universities will make that plan mandatory.

    Most schools have a student health center, and students must pay the fee to use these facilities regardless of their insurance plan. Again, these plans differ from school to school, and state to state. Be sure to check with your student's college or university. Health care is essential, and I'm sure you'll feel loads better with your student protected by health insurance.

    Get auto insurance for your college students car with Andrew G Gordon IncAuto Insurance

    Some colleges and universities allow students to bring cars to campus. Again, I'll be living in the city, so transportation for me is going to consist of walking and the occasional T ride. I don't see any need to have my own vehicle when everything will be so close to me. That being said, not all colleges and universities are in the city, and some people just downright hate city life. That's fine. But if they want a car, they'll have to deal with some car insurance stuff.

    First of all, you need to specify with your insurance company about whose name the car is under, which state the car will be located, who the primary driver will be, what type of insurance you want, etc. And then, you might have to deal with some cost changes in your policy.

    More often than not, college students that do not drive around are taken off the insurance policy for that period of time, and understandably so. Why pay for insurance that will not be put to use? However, if that student intends on driving during the uninsured time period, things could be pretty bad.

    Make sure that all types of auto insurance- insured or uninsured, in-state or out-of-state- are dealt with before your college student heads out on his/her way.

    Get homeowners insurance for your college students house with Andrew G Gordon IncHomeowner's Insurance

    College living arrangements usually fall under one of three categories. 1) Your student pays a room and board fee and his/her college or university and lives on campus. 2) Your student commutes to and from college and continues living in your home. 3) Your student lives in an apartment off campus with maybe a roommate or two.

    Now, if your student falls under category 3, you're going to need to have the insurance talk with them. Your student is going to have to have insurance for the apartment- there's no way around that. It might seem strange to them that they have to deal with homeowner's insurance while attending college, but it's for the best and is absolutely necessary.

    Insurance in Your Student's Future

    Now is the time where your college student should start becoming more aware of insurance and what it entails for them. After all, once college ends, they're going to have to be responsible for their own insurance needs. Start educating them, slowly but surely, with our insurance resources pages. We have short videos with explanations, and plenty of blogs to teach them tidbits of insurance info. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook! Until then, if you have any insurance questions, be sure to contact us.

     INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: home insurance, health insurance, student, insurance for the future, future, Auto Insurance, university, college

    Mac or PC?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Nov 22, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

    The timeless question mac vs pc answered by andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIt’s almost the holiday season and that can mean only one thing- presents. With high school seniors eagerly waiting acceptance letters and college kids returning for the break, technology is going to be a "must-have." Students flock to Best Buy, the Apple Store, and the internet for the best deal on the best computer. Many people choose different sides of the argument as if they are picking team Jacob or Edward (ok, maybe it’s more like Coke vs. Pepsi). You’re either a Mac or a PC person (remember that ad a few years back?) So, what’s the big fuss about?

    PC (Windows)

    Windows operating systems have been a staple in home and business computers for decades. No one can deny the plentitude of options and variations allows for a custom computer how you want it. Most programs and institutions have their base in PCs, meaning if you have one, you’re probably already compatible. The operating system for Windows is not the issue. Windows 7 is a fine tool and excellent to work with. Now with the launch of Windows 8, there are more options for everyone. However, the most common problem for PCs are the hardware. Dell, Acer, Lenovo, etc. all make the computers that run windows, and most of the problems come with design flaws and issues within these machines.

    Decide mac or pc for your personal insurance with andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    Mac

    Don’t go based on looks. These computers perform very well at a lot of tasks. Options and configurations aren’t as plentiful as the PC counterpart; however, the two have been coming together in the compatible programs and documents department. No doubt, technology is moving to the cloud. Apple utilizes this feature and has made their products integrated with the web base storage and sharing options. Not to mention the ease of use that is associated with Macs. Apple utilizes a vertical integration business model; meaning they own or operate all aspects of the computer build process, meaning if there is a problem, Apple can be held responsible to fix the issue. A major advantage of Mac computers is they can run a windows operating system like Windows at the same time as OS X, so you can literally get the best of both worlds.

    For more on the great debate: visit Intel’s, APC's, Popular Mechanic's, and Apple's pitch for the products. I use both PCs and Macs frequently; my personal preference is Mac for the reliability, speed, and overall appeal.

    Know mac or pc for your personal with andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maInsurance aspect

    There are pros and cons to both models of computer, and inherent risks to owning one. Computers are an investment, no matter which way you roll. Protect your investment and make sure that your new laptop is covered under the parent’s homeowner personal property coverage on the homeowner policy or sometimes there is a computer or electronics endorsement. If the student resides in an off-campus apartment, they may need to buy a renter’s policy as most insurers do not extend coverage to a rented apt from the parent policy. Take photographs and save the receipt of purchase in a safe place.

    Other protection

    See our previous blog about preventing theft in college for a comprehensive list of crime deterrent tips. What about those pictures from last year’s vacation and your sister’s wedding? Back up your files on an external hard drive, or send it to the cloud where even fire, flood, and theft can’t access it.

    Which one?

    So which one are you, blog reader? Are you subscribing to us on a Mac or a PC? Leave a comment below with your opinion.

    Learn about personal insurance here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: theft, work, computer, insurance, fire, apple, coverage, homeowners, Flood, mac, pc, college, macbook pro, intel, windows, microsoft, personal computer, laptop, tablet, notebook, comprehensive

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