Does My College Student Need Renters Insurance?

Many parents ask me “does my homeowners policy cover my child while he or she is away at college?” The answer really depends on whether your child intends to live on-campus or off-campus.

If your daughter plans to live in the dorms for her first year of college, your homeowners policy will provide coverage for her belongings, typically up to 10% of the Personal Property limit listed on your policy. Any losses would be covered subject to your deductible. Your homeowners policy will also provide liability protection for her automatically.

Your son, on the other hand, has decided he’s going to live in off-campus housing this year. This is where things get dicey. You will definitely need a renters insurance policy for him. There are some things you should keep in mind. If he is going to be living with friends, they should each have their own renters insurance. Some companies may allow for roommates to be on the same renters insurance policy, but if your son isn’t specifically listed on the policy, he’s not covered.

More importantly, if you are signing the lease for your son, you want to make sure you are protected. If you are on the lease, you will certainly be pulled into the lawsuit. You can do this one of two ways. First, make sure your name is listed on his renters insurance policy as a named insured. Second, add this location to your homeowners policy for Extended Liability. This option would cost you under $25 per year.

Important tip – Make sure any policy you get for you or your children includes Personal Injury coverage. Let’s say your son or daughter posts something on Facebook bashing a teacher, business, or another student. This person, as a result, suffers a damaged reputation and will most likely end up suing your child. Without Personal Injury protection, the policy will not provide coverage. It’s very cheap but invaluable in today’s social-media-driven society.


Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA for a quote on your renters insurance in Media, PA, homeowners insurance, and PA car insurance. We can also provide insurance for motorcycles, RVs, classic cars and any other “toys” you own.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County that provides high-quality renters insurance at an affordable price.


How Much Insurance Coverage Should I Buy for My House?

One of the questions I get most from my clients is “Why is my house insured for so much? I could never sell it for that amount.”

The reason for this difference is that your insurance policy is insuring your property on a Replacement Cost basis. Replacement cost is the amount required to replace the structure as-is in the event of a loss. There are times when this amount will be lower or higher than the Market Value of your home.

The Market Value is what you can expect to sell your home for in the current market. Market Value will take into account the land that the property sits on, school district, etc. Let’s assume we have a small rancher in Newtown Square, PA on an acre of land. The Market Value of this property will likely be much higher than the Replacement Cost because the land and school district will account for a significant portion of the value. Your Replacement Cost insurance policy will only be covering the materials and labor required to re-build the small rancher.

Now, let’s assume you have a stone, Victorian-style home sitting on a quarter of an acre in Drexel Hill, PA. Chances are, this property was built in the early to mid-1900s making the replacement of these materials very expensive. In this case, the Replacement Cost of the home could greatly exceed the Market Value of the home.

With that being said, it’s imperative that you include the following endorsements on your PA homeowners insurance policy:

Extended Replacement Cost – This coverage will give you an additional 25% or 50% of your Dwelling coverage. For example, your home is insured for $200,000 at the time of loss. It then cost $240,000 to rebuild the home. Without this endorsement, you’d be on the hook for $40,000. Determining the replacement cost of your home is an inexact science. I could do a replacement-cost estimate with 4 different companies and come up with a different replacement cost of the same home each time. Don’t leave your financial security to chance… make sure you’re adequately protected.

Ordinance and Law Coverage – This coverage provides you coverage for the increased replacement cost resulting from changes in building codes. For example, building codes in your area may require that all new construction be sprinklered. Because your home was originally built in 1975, your home didn’t include sprinklers and, therefore, it wasn’t accounted for in the replacement cost estimate. This endorsement will account for that increased expense.

Water and Sewer Backup – This doesn’t have to do specifically with replacement cost, but it is a very important coverage. Your homeowners policy, without this endorsement, does not provide coverage for a backup of sewers into your home… trust me, it happens! Don’t leave your home exposed.

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA for a quote on your PA homeowners insurance and PA car insurance. We can also provide insurance for motorcycles, RVs, classic cars and any other “toys” you own.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County, PA that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Why is my Insurance Premium So High? 8 Reasons Why You are Paying Too Much for Car Insurance

Why am I paying so much for car insurance? Well, it could be for a whole bunch of reasons. Car insurance in Pennsylvania can range from very low premiums to some of the highest in the country and PA car insurance companies have not made it easy to determine how they come up with these premiums. There are some pretty basic factors that I’ve outlined below that will definitely affect your PA car insurance in a negative way. Some of them are fixable, others may be out of your control:

Proximity to the Philadelphia area – Car insurance in Philadelphia is the highest in the state. In surrounding counties such as Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Delaware County car insurance premiums can end up being higher than average. As you get further from Philadelphia into Chester County and Berks County, car insurance premiums will start to really decrease.

Low Credit/Insurance Score – clients don’t like to hear that their credit score is affecting their insurance premiums, but it’s a fact, and every company uses it in determining premiums. Insurance companies have found that credit score has a direct correlation to the profitability of the business they write. Some companies have more favorable rates for those with poor credit scores while others will essentially deny coverage.

Claims – Whether it’s a small claim or a big one, all claims can affect your ability to get lower rates when shopping. Even if the insurance company cannot “surcharge” your policy for a claim, PA car insurance companies can move you to a less favorable rating tier or remove loss-free discounts.

Young Driver – Will my insurance get cheaper when I turn 25? Short answer… No. This is a major misconception in the car insurance industry. There is no specific discount when you turn 25. In reality, your rates will get progressively better as you age. In many cases, you may need to shop your insurance to see any significant change in premium. Some car insurance companies are more favorable to drivers in their 20s. No companies are favorable for drivers in their teens.

Older Driver – The reverse is also true… somewhere around age 60, you can expect to see your insurance premiums start to creep up. Around age 70 or 75, companies may even require that an extra medical form be filled out.

Home and auto policies are separate – If you have your home and auto insurance with different companies, you may be missing out on significant discounts. It’s very rare that I find a situation where this makes sense.

Prior low limits of insurance – I’ve mentioned this in other articles, but low limits of insurance don’t always mean the lowest prices. Rather than carry the state minimum coverage, get quotes for higher limits. You might find that it’s not as expensive as you thought. It might also open up new, more competitive markets that aren’t looking to write low limits. This will also help you secure better quotes in the future.

Been with the same company for years – This is my favorite… When someone tells me they’ve been with the same company for 20 years. As an agent, I can appreciate this kind of customer loyalty. However, these are the clients for whomI end up saving the most money… sometimes thousands of dollars a year. This is where the value of an independent agent comes in. As an independent agent, I have the ability to shop your insurance with numerous companies to make sure you are still getting the best premium. Agents for companies like State Farm and Allstate are locked in to one specific company, which isn’t doing you any favors. Most customers are looking to be loyal to their agent, not their insurance company (there’s a difference). Why not have one that gives you more options?


Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA for a quote on your PA homeowners insurance and PA car insurance. We can also provide insurance for motorcycles, RVs, classic cars and any other “toys” you own.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.