Safety in College

When kids hit college, they’ll reach an entirely new level of independence. With unstructured time and the freedom to make their own day-to-day decisions, they’ll still need support from you. Here are some campus life issues to discuss.

Keep possessions safe. College campuses and especially dormitories bring thousands of young people into one small area. That’s why it’s important to urge your student to keep their door locked whenever they leave the room for any length of time. It only takes seconds for an opportunistic thief to slip and disappear with their laptop or other valuable items. Also, have a talk with your insurance agent. If your college lists your house as their permanent address, your homeowners insurance coverage would most likely extend to your student’s belongings in the dorm. Find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Don’t leave them uninsured. Once your student lives off-campus at their first apartment, that simple carry-over homeowners coverage may disappear. In that case, a separate renters insurance policy in your student’s name can offer protection, so your student doesn’t have to start from scratch. The good news is that these low-cost policies are often affordable, even for college students living on slender budgets. To learn more, contact an ERIE agent.

Check your auto insurance. Every student’s situation varies, and different situations will have different impacts on auto insurance costs. For example, costs could increase if your student brings their car on campus, especially in an urban setting. Some parents see a discount if their student leaves the car at home. To learn more, get in touch with an ERIE agent.

Have the talk about drinking. Good news: According to WebMD, binge drinking among college students is on a downward trend, and so is driving while impaired. Still, 37 percent of students say they consumed four or more drinks in one sitting, and 17 percent report driving while impaired. Before your student heads to campus, talk about the risks of indulging too much, such as accidents, hypothermia, injuries and impulsive behavior. Along with that, brainstorm strategies so they know what to do to keep themselves and their friends safe.

A Q&A with Life Insurance Awareness Month Spokesperson Danica Patrick


Fitness touches so many aspects of our lives-mind, body and we like to think, finances. What’s your view of fitness?
When you’re taking care of yourself, whether it’s your health or what you eat or your finances, it’s about self-worth.  Either you’re worth taking care of in all aspects, or you’re not. So developing more self-worth is something everyone-including myself-can do.

What does financial fitness mean to you?
There’s the obvious, which is that you have to have enough to support yourself and have financial stability. But then there’s the other side of it and that’s just being OK with less, so knowing no matter what happens you’ll be OK. I’d also say it’s about not viewing finances as always the driving force, and trying to do things that make you happy and coming to the conclusion that while money can make you happy on a certain level, ultimately your true happiness-your soul-happiness doesn’t come from having a bigger bank account.

How did your parents shape your views on finances?
We didn’t have a lot growing up. We didn’t go out to eat a lot; we didn’t take vacations; we wore the same clothes a lot. But I feel my parents did a good job prioritizing what was important. They raised two kids, and we didn’t feel we wanted for anything. Just cutting out the unnecessary is part of the necessary when you don’t have as much. But they also made it fun. When they bought our house, they spent their last $100 on a picnic table-which is pretty much the same price it still is today!

I also think learning how to do things on your own is part of financial fitness, and that’s something I learned from my parents. If something breaks, you can fix it. If healthy food is expensive, you can grow a garden. If you’re looking to save money, you can cook dinner at home, which might cost you a few dollars, versus going out, which might cost you $50.

What role does life insurance play in a fit financial plan?
I think part of being fit, in any aspect of life, is about reducing stress. Life insurance is something you can do that can take a source of stress out of your life instantly. When you’re younger, you’re spending, and those bills and your mortgage or rent wouldn’t magically go away if something happened to you. If you weren’t around, who’s going to take care of those bills? That’s what life insurance is for.

Life insurance is one of those things that you can completely customize to meet your needs and your ability to pay, so it can be as big or small as you need it to be. Once you have your life insurance in place, it’s pretty straightforward-you just update it every so often to accommodate your needs.

But so many people procrastinate getting life insurance. What do you think can get them over the hump?
We tend to put things off that we don’t know how to do. It’s about asking for help and not assuming you know the way. I didn’t have the answers, so I asked for help. And if you ask for help, there’s always somebody who’s willing to offer it. I also think that whenever you ask for help, you tend to get a better result than if you just decided to go and do it on your own.

Then, write it down. It sounds remedial, but if something’s written down, I tend to do it. Put it on your calendar or to-do list and have that meeting.

We love your Instagram feed and all the fitness photos you post. Any health hacks you’d like to share?
Put yourself first-take care of you. Put food in your body like you care about it and want to take care of it, not just for today, but 20 years from now. That means eating real food. If it can sit on your shelf for a long time, there’s probably a reason you shouldn’t be eating it.

And second, I’d say do something that pushes you; do something that’s difficult. From a fitness perspective, if you work out and you get done and someone asks, “Was that hard?” and you say “Not really,” well, then why’d you do it? Do something that pushes you, because you get out of it what you put into it.

You have a book coming out: “Pretty Intense.” Anything you can share with us today?
Live your life with purpose, and have some intentions. So if your intention is to be around for a long time and not have stress in your life, then limit the stresses as much as you can.

Life Happens does not endorse any insurance company, product or advisor. Danica Patrick is the national spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month 2017, and her services were retained by Life Happens. Danica Patrick is a paid spokesperson for Life Happens.

Congratulations Brian Columbo!

Brian just won our $250 Visa Gift Card Drawing, held August 1, 2017!

How did Brian Win?
Brian along with other customers contacted us about other insurance they do not have with our agency. Each product they quoted, their name was entered into the drawing.

Next Drawing: 
August 1, 2018

Give Away: 
Vizio SmartCast 55″Ultra HD Home Theater Display!

You have a whole year to contact us! So, when your policy comes up for renewal, contact us about a month before to review.

Call us today at (804) 675-4300

Examples of policies we can review: Life Insurance, Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, IRA’s, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Boat Insurance, RV Insurance, Jet Ski Insurance, Liability Insurance, Mobile Home Insurance, Landlord Insurance, Renters Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Classic or Antique Auto Insurance, Builders Risk Insurance, Business Auto Insurance and more.

10 Overlooked Home Projects

by Erie Insurance on June 22, 2017

Overlooked home projects include changing smoke alarm batteries.

Overlooked home projects include changing smoke alarm batteries.
Planning on sprucing up your home this spring?
If so, you probably already have a list of annual projects. But there are many others that fly under the radar. Paul Sullivan, founder of a full-service remodeling company and the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers, suggests you tackle these overlooked home projects.

1. Replace your water heater. It’s pricey (about $800 to $1,600), but it’s important. When water heaters run too long, they can leak or burst. The fix: Have a pro install a new one at least every 10 years.

2. Clean out your drains. It’s a good idea to remove the pop-up drain stopper in your bathroom sinks and clean out trapped debris several times a year. Also, periodically run the kitchen disposal to clear out debris.
3. Inspect your gutters. Clogged gutters quickly fill with water—and that can lead to a roof leak. The remedy? Have gutters inspected and cleaned by a licensed professional each year for about $200 to $300.
4. Trim trees. Hire a certified arborist to trim nearby trees—especially if they pose a danger to your house. (Check with your city first to see if you need a permit.)
5. Inspect your roof. Roof work is dangerous, so hire a licensed professional to inspect yours once a year. An inspector can often suggest small fixes that could prevent a pricey leak.
6. Regularly change your furnace filter. Clean filters help prevent fires and allergy-inducing dust from circulating throughout your house. Follow the manufacturer’s replacement recommendations and/or regularly assess how dirty your filter looks.
7. Clean out dryer lint. Trapped lint can cause a dryer fire, so make sure to thoroughly clean out your lint trap after every load.
8. Buy a fire extinguisher. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. Stash at least one easy-to-access extinguisher in your kitchen.
9. Swap out old batteries. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights twice a year to ensure they’re in good working order. (Tie this to Daylight Saving Time to make it easy to remember.)
10. Fix easy trip-and-fall hazards. Whether it’s a bath tub that would benefit from a rubber mat or an old rug that won’t stay in place, it’s an accident waiting to happen.

Remember to let your Erie Insurance Agent know about any major home improvement projects. A larger-scale home improvement project could up the value of your home, so you’ll want to be sure you have enough coverage in the event something unfortunate occurs.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!
We hope you and your family enjoy the July 4th holiday! Our office will partially be open Monday July 3rd and closed Tuesday July 4th. If you need to report a claim during this time, please call our office and dial extension 6, leave a message and an agent will return your call.

Happy Independence Day
Perry Family Insurance Agency

Don’t forget to send us referrals! Each time you send us a friend, family member or colleague you’re name is entered into our quarterly drawing for a $50 gift card. Our next drawing is July 1st for a Bow Tie Cinemas gift card.
It’s almost time to draw our $250 Gift Card winner! The drawing will be on August 1, 2017. If you haven’t already called us, now is your chance. For each insurance product you quote that you don’t already have a policy with us that’s the number of times your name will be added to the drawing. This is only open to our customers and no purchase is necessary.
(804) 675-4300