Insuring Your College Student

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Insuring your college student should be at the top of your preparation list. Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.

Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

Many homeowner’s policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

If your child lives off-campus, insuring your college student may require an update. His or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which costs as little as $15 per month. Renter’s insurance will cover possessions in your child’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.

Keeping Your Child Healthy While on Campus

Many students can stay on their parent’s health plans if they are full-time students. However, restrictions vary greatly by state, and coverage could be even more complicated if your child is attending an out-of-state school.

If you find your child doesn’t have coverage under your plan, you have a few options. Most colleges have their own health plans, but some policies have high deductibles and low coverage maximums. A few don’t offer any coverage for conditions present before entering the school, so be sure to examine plans carefully. Otherwise, you may want to consider an individual policy for your child. As a college student, you have a variety of plan options, and it is in your best interest to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each one:

  • Parents’ Health Insurance Plan: Individuals up to age 26 who are not eligible for group coverage outside their parents’ plan are entitled to coverage on their parents’ plan. This can be a convenient option because all billing and claims are handled by your parents. However, if you attend school in a different state, your coverage levels may drop, and it may be more expensive than other coverage options.
  • School-sponsored Health Insurance Plan: Many schools offer insurance plans for full-time students. They tend to be relatively affordable and convenient, as medical services are often available on campus. However, the plan may not cover services you receive off campus and may have limits in the coverage. This plan also will drop your coverage if you graduate or drop below full-time student status.
  • Student Health Insurance Plan: Full-time students ages 17-29 at a state-accredited college are eligible. One major advantage is that coverage travels with you if you go to school in a different state. But, it may be more expensive than individual health coverage, may not be available in your state and you may be declined based on your medical history.
  •  Individual Health Insurance Plan: Most states offer several affordable options with a range of benefit options, and the biggest advantage is that you can keep this coverage after you graduate or drop credit hours. One downfall is that medical claims may not be paid at the highest level when at home if your family lives in another state, and you could be declined coverage based on your medical history.

Recommended Reading: Giving the Gift of Life Insurance

How to Make the Best Decision for Insuring Your College Student

In order to choose the plan that is best suited to you and your situation, consider the following criteria:

1.   Health Benefits: Make sure you know what benefits each plan you’re considering offers. Buy only what is important to you, but don’t skimp on benefits that you truly need.

2.   Costs: Consider which plans match your budget in terms of premium, deductible, copayments and coinsurance.

3.   Physician Network: If you have a preferred doctor, make sure to check which plans include him or her in their physician network.

4.   Brand: Are there brand-name carriers that you prefer or would like to avoid?

Changing Auto Coverage

If your child moves more than 100 miles away from your home to attend school and doesn’t keep a vehicle there, your auto insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. Call us today at 863.802.9600, and see if you can save money while still maintaining coverage for your child when he or she is at home.

Insurance Questions to Ask

Here are some important questions to ask when your child goes to college:

  • Will my child’s belongings be covered if he or she lives in off-campus housing?
  • Do I have to change my auto policy if my child brings the car to school?
  • If my child is an athlete, will he or she be covered under my family health plan if he or she is injured during a practice or game?

We’re Here to Help

If you are sending a child off the college and haven’t looked at adjusting your coverage, contact us today to learn more. You could save money on your policies and protect your child from expensive incidents while away from home.

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Jenny Cirioni

Vice President, Operations
Northeast, Florida

Todd Lawrence

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President
Southwest Florida Region

Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Anne Kraus

Vice President
Panhandle of Florida Region

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Employee Benefits

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Agency Operations

Jessica Parkhurst

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Kendall McEachern

Co-Founder

Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Mitch Weinstein

Partner & Co-Founder

As partner of Acentria Insurance, Mitch plays an integral role in mergers & acquisitions. He focuses on seeking out strategic like-minded partners and agencies, across the southeastern United States, to partner and join the Acentria family.

Mitch has over 42 years of business leadership experience that ranges from law enforcement to the finance, healthcare and insurance industries. He was instrumental in developing the nation’s first “at-risk” managed care network for physical and occupational therapy serving the worker’s compensation industry. This network paved the way for a new managed care system, based on incentives.

Mitch is passionate about giving back to the youth of his community. He is an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County and believes in helping all young people reach their full potential. He is also the founder of Fallen First Reserve which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financially assisting those family members of First Responders killed in the line of duty and military members killed in action. Mitch also serves on the board for Fund the First.

Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria as is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.