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Boomers with kids: What auto insurance decisions do you face?

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Updated: 12/12/2012 12:05 pm
Baby boomers sending children off to college, and potentially having them move back in after college, have some interesting financial decisions to make, especially with complicated subjects like auto insurance. For example: Who pays? It's important to decide who will foot the bill for auto insurance. Talk it out, and keep in mind that many children boomeranging back home do so because of financial constraints. If your child can't pay all car expenses, consider splitting the bill between a relatively large up-front payment with smaller monthly payments to help manage auto insurance-related costs. Wells Fargo offers a helpful set of tips on how to broach sensitive subjects with your boomerang kid. And if your child is heading off to college, this same conversation applies, especially if they're taking a car with them to campus. Talk with your agent/insurer With each insurer having different sets of coverage rules and plans, OnlineAutoInsurance.com heavily recommends that parents touch base with their agent or company to sort out what needs to change about their policy as children are moving out and moving back in again. Those agents and insurers should have advice ready, as the situation of boomerangs moving back in with their boomer parents is becoming more common. "Insurers usually want to know about all of their policyholders' driving-age household members," says OnlineAutoInsurance.com CEO Cesar Diaz. "All of those people could potentially be driving the insured car, so coverage providers need to know about them." Are discounts available? Parents may be able to get lower auto insurance quotes if their child is bringing a car home. But there are some wrinkles to going for discounts. Most of the applicable discounts, including GEICO's multicar discount, are applied by insuring several cars under one roof. According to GEICO, the discount could net policyholders up to 25 percent in savings. Update your info with your insurer Your insurer should be consulted about any major change in your living situation, including having a teen go off to college. Will your new collegiate kid be using the car? Where will it be garaged? What are the liability requirements in the area your child is schooling? All these questions are important to bring up with your insurer, especially since some insurers' away-at-college discounts are dependent on how far away from home campus is. Seek out discounts The most widely available discount is for good students with eligible GPAs, usually rewarded with cheaper rates. But there can be several other ways to lower coverage costs. For example, prices can be lower if your student is moving to a rural area for college compared with a college in an urban area. Do your research Research advice your insurer has for parents with kids heading off to college, or moving back in from college to help save time and anguish. Progressive dedicates an entire webpage to parents in such situations. State Farm offers tips to parents with a similar website. 21st Century also dispenses advice to parents through its website.
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