When Your Teen Leaves Home

AAA offers tips on safety, security, and membership benefits for college-age kids.

Child leaving for college, illus. by Ron Chan, image

When your child leaves for college, here are a few things to keep in mind.

It’s amazing how much life changes when kids leave home for college or other pursuits. While you’re dreaming of what to do with the extra bedroom, think about the safety and security of the person who’s moving, says Heather Hunter, a national AAA spokesperson.

Discuss the dangers Leaving home offers an exhilarating taste of freedom, and even the most responsible young adults need help understanding their limits. Talk to your teen about the life-threatening realities of drowsy driving—a particular problem after late-night cramming sessions or on long drives home during school breaks.

Update your coverage Let your agent know about the move, especially if a vehicle ends up in another state where insurance rules might be different. If your child takes a car to campus, remind her that a decent GPA (usually 3.0 or above) can pay off; many policies include good-student discounts.

Evaluate your membership Adding your student as an associate AAA member gives her access to Emergency Road Service and other benefits. For students moving far away, consider upgrading to Plus or Premier membership for longer-distance towing and enhanced locksmith service.

Secure their stuff Dorm residents often have limited theft and liability protection through their parents’ homeowners policy, but check with your agent for specifics. If your current plan won’t cover a stolen laptop and smartphone, consider a personal items policy. For off-campus students, renters insurance offers an inexpensive hedge against mishaps.

Check for savings Your AAA membership gives you discounts on moving supplies, computers, and more. Many AAA Approved Auto Repair locations offer discounts on maintenance and repairs.

Illustration by Ron Chan

This article was first published in September 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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