Is your daughter or son off to college this year?

Graduating high school and leaving home for the first time can be an exciting, and, in some ways, overwhelming, experience. In the excitement and anticipation, parents and students tend to overlook the fact that college students may encounter many insurance issues which have not been considered. So, before there’s an auto accident, a fire in, or theft from a dorm room or off-campus apartment, or an unexpected trip to the emergency room, it’s important to think about, and review, your, and your child’s, changing insurance needs in order to make sure you have all of the necessary coverages. Some key questions and factors to consider when children go away to college are:

Q: Does my homeowner’s policy (“HO Policy”) cover my children’s personal belongings while they are living away from home and attending college?

A: For college students living in dorms, most HO Policies will cover personal belongings up to a certain percentage (usually 10%) of the personal property limit stated in your HO Policy. Because of this limitation, and the possibility your student may be bringing high priced electronics and other valuable items to school, it’s important to check the coverage limits of your policy to make sure you are adequately covered. If you aren’t adequately covered, you may wish to either increase your policy limit, or purchase an additional renter’s insurance policy to ensure there is no gap in coverage.

Q: Do the same coverages and limitations apply if my children live in off-campus housing?

A: Most HO Policies will NOT cover personal belongings for students living in off-campus housing, and neither will the landlord’s insurance. Therefore, you will want to consider purchasing a separate renter’s insurance policy in the event your child’s belongings are damaged, destroyed or stolen.

Personal Possession Inventory: Whether your children will be residing in a dorm or off-campus housing, you are encouraged to compile a detailed inventory of their possessions, including purchase prices, model numbers and/or serial numbers. This will assist with regard to filing a claim, as well as in deciding how much renter’s insurance will be needed, or how much to increase your HO Policy limits, if necessary. You are also encourages to take a pictures or videos of the possessions.

Q: Are there any auto insurance issues I should discuss with my agent?

A: It’s important to pick up the phone and inform your agent if your children go away to college. If they don’t take a car, you may be entitled to a premium discount, but still be able to retain coverage in the event they come home for the holidays and vacation, or in case they borrow a car while away at school. If they do take a car, premiums may increase or decrease, depending on the location of the school. In addition, maintaining a certain G.P.A. may make your children eligible for a “good student discount”, whether they bring a car to school or not.

Q: Are there any health insurance issues I need to consider or address?

A: If your children attending college are younger than 26, they are eligible to maintain coverage on your insurance, as long as they are not offered health coverage through their own employer. If your child will be attending college in another state, it’s possible your plan’s network of hospitals and preferred doctors may not extend there. If this is the case, your student will likely have coverage for emergency care, but may have to travel to a preferred doctor or hospital for routine care, or your insurer may provide benefits at “out-of-network” levels. It will be best to check your individual plan’s provisions, or contact your insurance agent to find out what benefits will be provided.

Q: Are there any alternatives available if my children don’t have healthcare coverage, or it’s limited by network service issues?

A: If your children don’t have medical coverage, or coverage is limited, you may want to consider purchasing a “student health care plan”. Such plans are sold by insurers who have contracted with a college to offer coverage to its students. Contact your child’s college to obtain specific information regarding such plans. Another alternative would be to purchase an individual health insurance policy through your agent.

Q: Are there other insurance issues I should consider before my children go off to college?

A: There are several, including:

Tuition Refund Insurance: The vast majority of tuition refund insurance policies will provide coverage for medically necessary withdrawals from college – usually as a result of a documented illness or injury, or because of the death of the student, or death of the student’s parent or guardian. Tuition refund insurance may be worthwhile for those with children attending higher cost private colleges, for those families who don’t qualify for financial aid, or if your children have a serious medical condition.

Life Insurance: While the thought of purchasing life insurance for a college student may seem strange, it may provide an element of protection for those parents who co-sign for costly student loans.

Identity Theft Insurance: College students are more vulnerable to identity theft, as they are less prepared to protect themselves from the steady stream of personal information requests with which they are ultimately confronted. Before purchasing a separate policy, you should review your HO Policy (or check with your agent) to determine if it includes identity theft coverage, and see if it extends to your children attending college and living away from your primary residence.

Q:  How do I know what I should do?

A:  Making such a decision about your options is yours-and yours alone under the law.  As your independent insurance agent, I can help explain these options.  Our agency’s job is to help provide you with information so you can make informed decisions.

As you can see from these Q & A, if you have a son or daughter going off to college this year there is much to consider.

Employment Practices Liability Coverage….do you have it?

 

Does your business have Employment Practices Liability?  Do you need it?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance is designed to protect businesses in the event they are the target of a claim or lawsuit alleging employment-related wrongdoing.  EPLI provides employers with coverage for a broad range of employment-related risks such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation.  It safeguards you and your company against lawsuits brought by past, present and potential employees.

At Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman, we have access to several insurance companies that offer EPLI coverage.  Some of the coverage features can include*:
  • Coverage for full-time, part-time, leased, seasonal and temporary employees
  • Covered claims include administrative charges filed with the EEOC
  • Optional $100,000 costs of defense for claims alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards
  • Optional third party liability coverage for claims brought by customers for discrimination (including costs of defense for Americans with Disabilities Act and public accommodation claims) and/or harassment
  • Optional sublimit for costs of defense for criminal investigations brought by any government agency for alleged hiring or harboring of illegal aliens

*This coverage overview is not a part of an insurance contract and does not supersede the policy.  Please read the policy form for complete terms, conditions and exclusions.

 

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company recognizes Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman, Inc among its top agents

This week, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company recognized
its top agencies, including Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman, Inc, for expertise in jewelers block
insurance during its annual National Sales Conference. Agencies were named to the
Centerstone Circle Agents in recognition of their efforts to serve Jewelers Mutual policyholders.

“Jewelers Mutual agents are the most knowledgeable jewelers block insurance experts in North America, and we are pleased to recognize their accomplishments,” said Jewelers Mutual’s President and CEO, Darwin Copeman. “Our agent partners play a key role in serving and protecting our policyholders. They are skilled in minimizing risk, assessing coverage needs, and, when the unthinkable happens, our policyholders count on them for advice and support as they recover from a loss. They are vital to our business.”

Seminar a Smashing Success!

 

Our CNA Loss Control Seminar for Law Practice Risk Management was held yesterday morning at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, and was a rousing success!!  It was attended by well over 300 participants from Maryland law firms and legal teams, who enjoyed presentations by some very special guests, including the Honorable Glenn T. Harrell, Jr., Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.  Included in the modest registration fee was free parking and a complete breakfast buffet!  These seminars sell out fast, so “Like” our Facebook page and come back often to find out when the next seminar will be held!  You can also check our website at https://rhhinsurance.com/professional-liability/lawyers for information on any upcoming events.

Cinco De Mayo: Let’s Celebrate!!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!! Did you know the origin of this day was to commemorate the Mexican army’s defeat of French troops in the 1862 Battle of Puebla….oh, you don’t really care about that? Okay, then why don’t you go to one of RHH’s favorite Mexican restaurants in the Baltimore, Ellicott City and Annapolis areas, and celebrate this festive holiday! Our favs, in no particular order, are: Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, El Azteca, La Palapa, Pachanga Grill, Pachanga Cocina, Jalapenos, El Salto Mexican Restaurant, Xitomate, Plazuelas, Broad Neck Grill and Miguel’s Cocina Y Cantina.

Employee Reaches 10 year Mark!!

Erika Zowd has now been with our agency for ten years…10 lucky years for us!  We celebrated her milestone with a DELICIOUS lunch catered by a restaurant we insure, Mission BBQ, located in the Baltimore area.  Erika is a dedicated and hard working insurance specialist working with our Commercial insurance clients.  If you see Erika or are lucky enough to be one of her clients, be sure and give her a well deserved congratulations!

Erika Zowd celebrates her 10th year with Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman

Erika Zowd celebrates her 10th year with Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman

Maintain Your Clothes Dryer

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of 7,000 annual residential fire losses in which the source of the fire is in the clothes dryer or vent. Dryers are the third most common type of equipment involved in fires, ranking behind stoves and fixed area heaters. Clothes dryers can catch fire due to excessive lint buildup in the exhaust pipe or inside the dryer; this lint buildup is often out of sight. As a result, you should take the following steps to reduce the chance of your dryer starting a fire.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe.
  • Keep the dryer vent clean and unclogged.   Check for a clogged vent if the dryer does not dry clothes efficiently.
  • Remove and clean the lint screen before each use.
  • Keep all combustibles away from the clothes dryer.
  • Hire a qualified technician to periodically inspect gas clothes dryers.

 Clothes Dryer Fire Inside Dryer VentOutside Dryer Vent

RHH Sponsors The 10th Annual Maryland ProStart Student Invitational

Maryland ProStart is an organization that supports educational programs in Maryland schools for high school students wishing to pursue a career in the restaurant industry.    High School students from around the state will compete in two different competitions, the Management Team Competition on the 19th and the Culinary Team Competition on the 20th. The students will be competing for 1 Million dollars in scholarship awards, and the chance to represent Maryland in the National ProStart Program Invitational.  It will be held at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel February 19-20, 2014.  The competitions and college and job fair are free to attend, and the public is encouraged to come both days and cheer for their favorite team.  RHH is a proud sponsor of the Management Team Station.  Good luck to all of the competing high school teams!!

 

For additional detailed information about this event, click here.

Baltimore Restaurant Week February 16 – 23

Come dine at one of the fabulous restaurants participating in this week’s Baltimore Restaurant Week which runs now through this Sunday, February 23rd.  Some of the area’s top restaurants are offering special three-course menus, plus some restaurants are offering two-course lunch or brunch menus at special pricing as well.  Click here for information about the participating restaurants, as well as all the information about the restaurant you will need to decide where you would like to eat next!
 
 

Vicki Leja Celebrates 10 years with RHH!

John Hinkle, VP congratulates Vicki on her 10 year anniversary with Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman

John Hinkle, VP congratulates Vicki on her 10 year anniversary with Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman


Our agency is so lucky to have Vicki with us!! She is a cornerstone in our Personal Lines Department. Please help us congratulate Vicki for her dedication, knowledge and professionalism. She is a true joy to work with every day!