In This Issue

Tip Sheet

March 30, 2009

Ask an Expert

ERIE Agent Frank Spicer

Dan Carper.
Blacksburg, Va.

Q: My teenage daughter is just about to get her permit. Do I add her to my insurance now or when she gets her license?

A:The quick answer to this is when she gets her license. A driver-in-training will not be directly added to your insurance, or affect your premium, until he or she is a fully-licensed driver.

But, we still want to know when your teen is just learning. When he or she gets a permit, we will add him or her to your policy as a “non-driver.” This ensures that ERIE will have the information we need in case your teen-with-permit is in an accident. Your premium will not go up at this point, but your child will be protected by your auto insurance.

We also want to meet with your teen. It’s an opportunity for your son or daughter to hear about the importance of safe driving from someone besides you. Plus, a young driver interview with an ERIE Agent may lead to an additional discount when your teen is fully licensed and added as a driver to your policy.

So, do you need to add your daughter to your policy when she gets her permit? Not formally. But please do give your ERIE Agent a call. We can help you transition from parenting a teen to parenting a teen driver.
—Dan Carper
Carper Insurance Associates
Blacksburg, Va.

Have a question for an insurance expert? Let us know. E-mail or send us a letter.

Protect all your home appliances from extra electricity

Most people know to plug their computers into surge protectors. But how about the garage door? The dishwasher?

Electric surges that come from downed utility lines, lightning strikes or even malfunctions inside your home can damage more than your PC. According to the Underwriter’s Laboratory, power surges can permanently damage televisions, fax machines and any home appliances that contain microprocessors and sensitive electronic components.

Most homeowners’ policies protect you financially from these surges, but there are steps you can take to prevent the damage from ever happening, like contracting a licensed electrician to install a whole-house surge suppressor. These are installed near your meter or service panel and must be installed by a professional. Once installed, they can limit the damage done by any power surge and protect all of your appliances.

The best car booster seats

You wouldn’t buy your children size 10 shoes when they just outgrew size 4. The same should go for seatbelts.

While your kids might have outgrown their car seats, they aren’t ready for adult-size seatbelts until they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the in-between stages, booster seats can help. They raise your child up so that regular seatbelts fit for optimal safety. And, they are mandatory in some states.

A recent IIHS study shows which brands of booster seats are best.

Top 5 insurance FAQs

Insurance may not be rocket science, but it’s not sliced bread either. Here are five FAQs ERIE’s independent Agents often hear:

  • If I’m without my car after an accident, will my insurance cover the cost of a rental?
  • When my daughter leaves for college, are her belongings covered under my homeowner’s policy?
  • If I rent a car or a moving van, will my auto policy cover me?
  • Do I need workers’ compensation coverage for my cleaning lady?
  • Is my neighbor covered while driving my car?

So, what are the answers? To all of these questions and many more, the answer is “It depends on your policy.”

Because the insurance industry is regulated differently in every state, these questions don’t have simple answers. That’s why ERIE works with your local independent insurance Agent—so you can get personalized answers that are right for your policy, your situation.

Got a question? Give your ERIE Agent a call.

Mom and Pop moving in? Call your Agent.

The U.S. Census Bureau found that more than 4 million homes across the nation are multi-generational. The number is expected to grow.

How does moving in together affect a family and their insurance? Here’s the story.

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