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    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

    Drivers Education Parent Class- Are You a Good "Road" Model?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 07:13 AM

    Parents be a good road role model for your new teen driver with auto from andrew gordon incIf you are a parent of a teen of driving age, you may be surprised to learn that you will be back in the classroom. The Massachusetts Junior Operator Drivers Education law requires a parent or guardian to attend a two hour course as part of the Junior Operator driver education requirements.  I had the pleasure of attending a parent session last weekend at the AAA Old Colony Driving School in Rockland. The class reviews the Junior Operator’s laws and the parent’s role in supporting safe driving. It also reviews the driving skills their child must master to pass a road test.

    Most importantly, the class identified driving behaviors that may negatively influence a new driver. Parents took a self-evaluation form to assess their own driving habits.

    Ask Yourself

    Check if you get a passing grade for being a “good road model “ when you ask yourself the following questions?

    • Do you talk on the cell phone while driving?                                 
    • Do you read or answer text messages while driving?
    • Do you allow yourself to be distracted while driving?
    • Do you always use directional signals when turning?
    • Do you always obey traffic signals and signs?
    • Do you drive over the speed limit?
    • Do you drive aggressively?
    • Do you get upset at other drivers while driving?
    • Do you always wear your seatbelt?
    • Do you make sure your passengers are wearing a seatbelt?
    • Do you drive after drinking alcohol?
    • Do you enforce rules and expectations with your teen driver?
    • Do you explain safe driving strategies with your teen?
    • If your teen is driving, do you offer feedback to help improve their skills?
    • Do you discuss the financial aspects of driving with your teen?
    • Do you discuss car maintenance with your teen?
    • Did you discuss what to do after an accident before you teen is licensed?

    Hopefully, you answers prove you are a “good road model”  for your soon-to-be-licensed teen. If not, there’s still time to set a good example for your new driver!

    If you have another other questions about teens and the road, check out our New Driver Resources page. Don't forget to download our contract between teen drivers and their parents! And if you're considering purchasing a new car for your teen, feel free to get a free quote from us by clicking the button below. We'll find the best deal for you and your insurance needs. Stay safe! Learn more about auto insurance here.

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook


    Tags: drivers, safety, new, junior, model, parents, role, driving, safe, road, teen, teenagers, operators

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