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Raising Children

Children are the future. We need to plan for their future and we need to protect it. As the saying goes, it will be here before we know it. A family’s insurance and financial needs will grow and change over time as we take steps to manage our finances; and protect our property and lifestyle against significant changes in our life or health.

As the children grow up, families spend more time in the car – or so it seems – dropping kids off at school, driving to basketball or soccer games and other youth activities. But, as parents, we tend to become more careful behind the wheel and generally enjoy lower insurance rates. The family car is not likely to be a Ferrari, but a mini-van, which is less costly to insure. It’s important to pay attention to the children’s safety. Infants should ride in car seats that are properly installed. Youngsters should sit in the back and wear seatbelts. Parents should set a good example, even if the police don’t write tickets for non-use of seatbelts as a primary offense. The insurance industry supports the presence of side and smart air bags, which are less likely to cause injury if deployed and more likely to save lives in the event of a serious accident.

With children, we acquire more “stuff,” particularly electronic equipment. Between homework research on the Internet and after-school relaxation, we now tend to have multiple televisions, computers and stereos in the house (with the volume too high). Make sure your homeowner’s insurance keeps pace with a growing family. The larger the home, the more it will cost to insure it, because the insurance company is assuming more risk. Consider inflation protection so that the homeowners insurance automatically rises with property values in your region. Safety features such as alarm systems, smoke detectors, strong doors and deadbolts not only keep the family safe, they save money because they reduce the likelihood of insurance claims. If you plan to add a family dog, check with your insurer before bringing home an aggressive breed. If you have a backyard pool, trampoline or swing set, consider increasing your liability coverage through an umbrella policy in case someone is injured while playing on your property.

**Information provided by The Insurance Information Institute: www.iii.org**
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