Graduation – When to Remove Your Child from Your Auto Policy

Graduation – When to Remove Your Child from Your Auto Policy

Your son or daughter has graduated college and is ready to start his or her adult life. Is now a good time to take them off your car insurance?

It’s a decision that many parents tend to put off. Unlike health insurance, there is no maximum age for children on a vehicle policy. As long as they live with you, and drive a car you own, they could remain on your policy indefinitely. However, you may also choose to remove them, and that’s the case even if they do live with you. Here are some reasons why you might consider it.

    • It will likely save you money. It is more costly to insure younger, less experienced drivers and so removing them from your policy will likely lower your premium.
    • It will teach your child responsibility. Car insurance premiums are usually among the first bills that a young person is responsible for paying.
    • It can improve their credit score. Paying the premiums on time will help build your child’s credit score.
    • You both may qualify for a multi-vehicle household bundles or discounts.
    • In some cases, children move to a new address and don’t update their auto insurance right away. Getting your child his or her own policy will ensure that there is no gap in coverage when they move out.


When you need to remove your child

If you’re thinking about removing your child from your auto policy, read on. We’ve compiled a list of situations when it is recommended that young adults have their own policy.

Your son or daughter no longer lives with you.

    • Your policy is tied to your home address. If your child has moved away, they can’t be on your policy.
    • If, however, your son or daughter is simply living at college, their home address is likely still yours. That allows them to remain on your policy, with some modifications.
    • If the college is enough of a distance away, and they are not driving, the insurance premium may be temporarily discounted or reduced.
    • If they take their car to college, the new location will be incorporated in the premium quote.


Your son or daughter is covered under another auto policy.

    • The car that your child drives can only go on one policy. If your son or daughter is covered under another policy, such as in cases of separation or divorce, you do not need to pay for a second policy.
    • If your son or daughter lives mostly at one location, your teen may be listed on the policy at that home.
    • If your son or daughter regularly parks his or her car at both parents’ homes, your child will still be covered at both locations under one policy.


Your child has bought his/her own car.

    • Insurance companies generally require that any vehicles on your policy be in the primary policyholder’s name.
    • If your child buys his/her own car, the insurer may require a separate policy.
    • If you do not get a separate policy, then you remain the primary policyholder. If your child gets into an accident with his/her car, and the claim is covered, the check will be written to you.


How to remove your child from your policy

1. Contact your insurer. Ask to have your child removed from the policy.

Insurance companies usually require you to list all household members of driving age when you apply for, or renew, your policy. If your child gets his or her own policy, and still lives at home, you will need to exclude them from your coverage. That means they won’t be covered in an accident even if they had an occasional use with permission. Note that you may be charged a fee or excluding a driver that lives in your household.

2. Provide proof of other insurance.

When you remove your child from your policy, your insurer will require proof that your child has his/her own policy. You can choose to get a new policy with your current insurer and maybe take advantage of household discounts. You also could change insurance companies. Make sure to set up the timing so that one policy kicks in when the other one lapses.

3. Provide proof of new address.

If your child has moved to a new address, your insurer may ask for proof of residence. This may include a utility bill or other authorized mail.

Talk to your insurer about options so that you can find the best fit for your family, and also meet state and insurance requirements.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or


How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

You’ve probably heard of someone stealing a catalytic converter, but never thought it could happen to you in your neighborhood. Well, think again…

The number of catalytic converter thefts reported in insurance company claims has greatly increased over the past three years, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that these thefts increased by 1,215% between 2019 and 2022. Stolen catalytic converters can garner anywhere from $20 to $350 on the black market, with the replacement cost to vehicle owners averaging over $2,500 according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.


What are catalytic converters?

Catalytic converters are part of your car’s exhaust system. They turn harmful emissions into harmless gases. These essential car parts contain precious metals like platinum, palladium or rhodium, which can be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars when sold to scrap yards. Catalytic converters are especially attractive to thieves because they are not easily tracked. Plus, they can be removed from your vehicle in a matter of minutes.


What vehicles are thieves targeting?

Any car manufactured after 1974 has a catalytic converter, and is a potential target. However, thieves often look for taller vehicles like pickup trucks or SUVs because they can slide underneath them more easily. They also look for hybrids, which have a greater supply of those precious metals in their catalytic converters. The only vehicle without a catalytic converter is an electric vehicle (EV).


What steps can you take to prevent a theft?

You want to make it more difficult for thieves to steal your catalytic converter, and harder for them to profit if they do. Here are some of the most popular ways to help prevent a theft.

Keep things well-lit and secure.

For thefts that occur at night, keeping your property lit up could be a deterrent. Install motion sensor lights in your driveway which could surprise a thief and potentially scare him away. A home security system with visible cameras also can help prevent thefts.

Park in the right place.

Park in your locked garage if you have one, or in your driveway. Avoid street parking that is beyond the scope of your security cameras. If you’re in a public space, choose the first row of parking spaces near the building. These are generally the ones that are well lit and covered by the building’s security camera. They have the added advantage of being the places where people are most likely to pass by. 

Pro Tip: For cars with lower clearances, you might find that parking on hills, gravel or uneven surfaces can help make it harder for thieves to get underneath. They may pass by your car for a converter on another vehicle that’s easier to reach.

Mark your converter.

Etch your car’s VIN or license plate number onto your catalytic converter. This will help alert scrap dealers that it’s a stolen part. While thieves could file off the etching, the filing marks will still be noticeable. Alternatively, paint your catalytic converter a bright color. It’s unsellable in that condition; thieves will have to clean off the paint, which is a time-consuming process. They may decide not to bother with your catalytic converter and look elsewhere.

Install an anti-theft device.

Aftermarket devices can be installed that make it difficult or impossible to remove a catalytic converter. These include cages, panels and shields. You can weld the bolts of your converter so they cannot be turned. You also can weld your converter in place. Add a warning sticker on your vehicle’s window saying that your car has an anti-theft device. Thieves will see it and take notice.

Add an alarm.

You can install a motion sensor alarm that will go off if someone is using a vibrating power tool on your car. It’s easy to install. The downside is that it’s also easy to remove, and so it may not be the deterrent you want.

Start a neighborhood watch group.

Catalytic converter theft is often a crime where a whole neighborhood is targeted on a single night. Forming a neighborhood watch group will help prevent a series of thefts. Set up a text chain and share information from your doorbell and security cameras. Report suspicious behavior, such as unknown cars circling the block. If you see someone tampering with vehicles on your street, report it immediately to the police—and alert your neighbors.


How do you know if your converter is stolen?

You don’t have to know cars to know when your catalytic converter is stolen. You’ll hear it as soon as you start your car. It will make a loud roar which will become even louder when you accelerate. Your car also may sputter. It will not drive smoothly. You may notice an increase in exhaust and/or exhaust smells. The check engine light may go on. The theft may have been silent and secretive, but the aftermath is not.

The cost to replace a catalytic converter can be pricey, but if you have comprehensive insurance for your vehicle, that will help to cover the replacement part, after the deductible has been met. Make sure that your auto insurance policy is up to date and that you are fully covered should anything happen.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?

How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?

Homeowner’s insurance helps to protect your most valuable investment—your home. But homeowner’s policies can vary in cost, depending on where you live and what you’re insuring. Following are homeowner’s insurance costs explained so that you can make decisions about your specific needs.


Why you need homeowner’s insurance

If you have a home mortgage, you are required to have homeowner’s insurance. Even if you don’t have a mortgage, it’s recommended that you have insurance to protect your home.

Simply put, homeowner’s insurance provides coverage:

    • In case your home or belongings are damaged
    • In cases of fire, wind, snow and other covered perils
    • In case you are held responsible for an accident or injury

How much coverage you will need depends upon your location, the size and scope of your home/dwelling, other structures on your property, and your personal belongings. You don’t want to shortchange the amount of coverage, or you may not have enough to rebuild your home or replace your possessions in the event of a claim.

Note that homeowner’s insurance is not the same as mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is required when you put less than 20% down when you buy your home. Mortgage insurance protects the lender. Home insurance protects your home.



Depending on where you live, you may face different types of risks which can affect your home. These include extreme heat, drought, fire, and severe storms. Your insurer will take those risks into account when pricing your policy.

There also are natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes which are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. You can add these coverages with a separate policy or an endorsement added to your property policy.  


Dwelling Coverage

Coverage A, dwelling coverage, covers the structure of your home. This includes the roof, walls, floorboards, cabinets and bath fixtures. Essentially, if you could tip your house upside down, it would cover everything that remains attached. Under dwelling coverage, your insurance provider will pay to rebuild your house if the structure is damaged by a covered peril. Coverage for the dwelling and other structures is categorized as “open perils,” meaning it’s covered unless it’s excluded. Building materials like hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, granite counters, and tile roofs are all factored into the appropriate amount of insurance you would be offered under dwelling coverage.

Especially in periods of economic inflation and building supply or labor shortages, the true rebuild cost of your home may be substantially higher than the market value and even much higher than the cost of building a new house on an empty lot. If your insurance provider hasn’t recalculated the cost to rebuild your home recently, then you may be at risk of running out of coverage if you experience a total loss. That’s why it’s good to periodically check with your provider to make sure you are fully covered.


Other Structures

You may have a swimming pool, shed, detached garage, or fence. These are other structures that can be damaged and therefore need to be included in your insurance policy. Other structures coverage will cover damage to these structures that is not specifically excluded in the policy.

The coverage limit for other structures is generally set at 10% of your home’s coverage limit. That means if your home is insured for $200,000, the coverage limit for your detached garage would be $20,000. For an additional premium, you can add an endorsement for additional coverage.


Personal Property Coverage

Personal property coverage protects your possessions. If they are stolen, or damaged by fire/smoke or any of 16 named “perils,” your policy will pay for them subject to your deductible. There are dollar limits for theft of certain items, such as jewelry and firearms. 

You may choose the replacement cost or the actual cash value (ACV) for reimbursement in personal property coverage. ACV is the amount the item is worth, minus depreciation for its age. It will cost a little more for a policy that provides replacement cost since that is higher than ACV. 


Liability Coverage

Liability coverage includes two coverages:  Coverage E – Personal Liability and Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others.  

Personal Liability protects you if a claim is made or a suit brought against you for bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence to which coverage applies. An occurrence means an accident, which results in Bodily injury or Property damage. If you are found liable, the policy will pay up to its limit of liability for damages for which an insured is legally liable. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and permanent scarring. The policy also provides a defense in court, if needed, for the policyholder. This is at the insurance company’s own expense.  

You want to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your assets – a minimum amount is $100,000. Liability covers you at your place or anywhere in the world. For example, if your dog bites someone, you’re covered. The policy pays for the bite victim’s medical expenses and covers court fees if they sue you. 

If you are not liable, but your guest was injured through his/her own fault, then Coverage F – Medical Payment to Others may cover your guest’s medical bills. Under Coverage F, the insurance company will pay the necessary medical expenses to a person injured on the insured location with the permission of an insured, or off the insured location if the injury is caused by the activities of an insured or caused by an animal owned by an insured.


Additional Living Expenses

If your home is damaged in a covered claim, it may not be livable. If that’s the case, you would need to stay somewhere else. You would be covered for any necessary increase in living expenses, such as lodging, food, and gas. Under Coverage D – Loss of Use, called “Additional Living Expense,” your policy will provide a flat percentage toward living costs, usually 30% of the Coverage A amount. Some states have time limits (e.g. 12 months) on when you can use that coverage. Plan to cover those additional expenses out-of-pocket.



Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your insurance premium. Since the deductible is the amount your insurance provider will subtract from an insurance payout, you’ll have to select a deductible that you’re comfortable paying out-of-pocket after a loss.  


Other Things That Affect Cost

Finally, there are other items that can affect the cost of a policy. Your insurance claim history could be factored in. If you have a number of past claims, or the home you are trying to insure has a number of claims, your rate could be higher. The age of your home and condition of your roof may be taken into account. 

Get started with a free quote today at



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

Insurance & Divorce 101

Insurance & Divorce 101

When you’re married, you share insurance policies with your spouse. When you’re separated or divorced, you need to make changes to all of your financial documents, including insurance.

You will want to contact your insurance company when a separation or divorce is beginning. Here’s a quick guide to navigating your auto and homeowner’s policies during this challenging time. 


Auto Insurance

Where you live will determine whether you can stay on the same car insurance policy while separated. 

    • If you’re at the same address, and that’s where your cars are parked at night, then you can keep the car insurance together for the time being.
    • Make sure your insurer has both spouses’ contact information. However, note that any correspondence, such as a copy of nonpayment information and a legal notice, will only be sent to the address on the policy.
    • If you have different addresses, because you are separated, that’s the time to get separate policies. As a side note, even if you are married and you keep the car at separate addresses, you may need separate policies. Your insurer sometimes can add a separate “garaging location” but you do need to notify the insurance company whenever addresses and vehicle locations change.


When you divorce, you will need individual car insurance policies.

    • That may mean that one person takes over the current policy and the other gets a new one, or you both get new ones and the original policy is canceled. There may be cancellation fees involved.
    • If both spouses are residing in the same household, both are still named insureds and only one person’s authorization is needed to cancel or change a policy. Once the ex is removed, the ex no longer has any input into what the insured does with the policy.   
    • If you share ownership of a car, you will need to get that car titled in one person’s name. You may need to revisit financing options as well if it is still being paid off.
    • Make sure you get the new policy before you cancel the old, or you could be penalized for a gap in coverage.


There may be a difference in price with the new policies.

    • Don’t be surprised if your rate goes up or down after divorce, even if you took over the original policy. For example, you will likely lose the discount given for being married. You may lose a multi-car or multi-policy discount. However, if your spouse’s driving record is worse than yours, your rate as a single person may be lower than it was as a couple.
    • Refinancing a house or buying a new car also can change your credit score, which is used to determine your rate.
    • Your new zip code will likely change the amount that you need to pay. Location is often factored into the insurance rate whether auto or home.


Teen drivers have to be included on the policy.

    • The car that your teen drives can only go on one policy. You will need to pick who is responsible for paying the insurance and that is where the teen/car will be rated.
    • If your son or daughter lives mostly at one location, your teen may be listed on the policy at that home. 
    • While insurers list everyone age 14+ on the policy, they only charge a premium if the teen is not insured elsewhere.  They don’t want to double insure any person or car.  
    • If your son or daughter regularly parks his or her car at both parents’ homes, your teen will still be covered at both locations.
    • Your divorce agreement can determine if your spouse contributes to the payment of the policy that covers your teen.


Homeowner’s Insurance

A homeowner’s policy can be maintained during a separation, but should be changed as soon as the divorce is finalized. At California Casualty, we typically wait until the divorce is final and/or the policy renewal date to move property policies from one account to another.

    • Only a named insured on the policy is authorized to make changes. Ideally, the changes should follow the separation agreement.
    • The effective date the change takes place depends upon your policy.
    • The spouse who moves out, but is still on the deed, should be named as an additional insured.


You will want to get renter’s insurance if you are moving out of your house.

    • Renter’s insurance is like homeowner’s insurance but for tenants. Starting at about $10 a month, it protects your personal belongings.
    • It will include personal liability coverage, an important safeguard if you’re found at fault for property damage or injuries at your place (and even around the world). 
    • It also can help if your apartment or home is unlivable, due to a covered loss. Insurance can cover the increase in living expenses. 


Your homeowner’s policy should be listed under whoever keeps the house.

    • If one spouse gets the house in the divorce, the homeowner’s policy must be transferred to their name.
    • Your insurer will rewrite the policy based on updated personal property coverage and the current needs of the homeowner. Any umbrella policies should be reviewed.
    • Ask for ways to keep your rates affordable, such as bundling home and auto, or buying a home security system.
    • Ask about discounts, too. California Casualty offers discounts to nurses, educators, and first responders.




This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How to Change Car Insurance Companies

How to Change Car Insurance Companies

You don’t have to wait for your auto policy to expire to change insurance companies. However, you do need to make sure you’re fully covered without any gaps in insurance. We’ve compiled some guidelines to help you decide if a change is right for you.


When should you think about changing policies?

While you don’t need a reason to change your auto insurance, there are some times when it makes sense for you to revisit your policy—even if you don’t change insurance companies. You may end up modifying your current policy to meet your evolving needs. For example:

    • If you’ve had a major life change, such as getting married or divorced, you may need more or less insurance.
    • If you’ve moved to a new zip code or state, the new location could affect your premium. 
    • If you’ve become a homeowner, you can bundle your auto and home and save money.
    • If you’ve gone from working out of the home to remote work, your annual mileage may be less.
    • If you’ve bought a new car, you will want to check insurance policy options.
    • If your teenager is about to get his or her license, that will add to your policy.
    • If your credit score has improved, you may qualify for a lower rate.
    • If you’re unhappy with your current insurer, you can consider a change.
    • If you’re approaching your renewal date, you can terminate a contract without cancellation fees.


Follow these steps to make the change.

Step 1: Consider your coverage options. 

Figure out how much coverage you need. If you depend upon your care, you want to make sure that you have enough to replace it if necessary. Also, check your state laws. Some states will require you to have certain car insurance. If you lease or finance a car, your lender or lessor will require you to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance.

Step 2: Compare quotes from multiple insurers.

Get quotes from several insurers, and make sure you are comparing the same coverage, limits and deductibles. Sometimes policies are cheaper because they don’t have the same coverage. This is also a good time to contact your current insurer to find out about discounts, or other ways to lower your cost. California Casualty offers discounts to nurses, educators, and first responders.

Step 3: Check for penalties and perks. 

If you’re in the middle of your policy contract, there may be a penalty for canceling. Make sure you figure that into the decision to switch. You also will want to look for the perks, or little extras, that are offered. Some insurers offer inexpensive roadside assistance or accident forgiveness for qualified customers. Some have smartphone apps or are available 24/7 online.

Step 4: Do your research.

You want to know how your new insurer handles claims, and whether they have a good customer service rating. It may not be worth a lower price if it’s going to be a hassle dealing with the new company. Check out your insurer with the Better Business Bureau, JD Power, or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Step 5: Make sure there’s no gap in coverage.

Car insurance lapses can be expensive, especially if you have an accident on the day in between. If you cancel one policy, make sure the other one is already in place. Your new insurance company can provide proof of insurance to your old company. However, they cannot cancel your policy. You need to do so. You’ll receive a refund for any unused portion. There may be a cancellation fee.

Pro Tip: Also remember to cancel automatic payments to your old insurer with your bank or credit card.

Step 6: Notify your insurer and lender.

Make sure to officially cancel your policy with your old insurer. Otherwise, your insurer will think you simply stopped paying your bill, and you could be liable for charges. Some insurers require 24 hours before canceling, so make sure you are aware of the terms. Also let your lender or lessor know about your new insurance if you are leasing or financing your car. 

Step 7: Replace your insurance ID.

Once you make the change, ask for a digital copy of your insurance card. You can also order a printed card. Remember to place your new insurance card in your car’s glovebox.


Finally, if you have an open claim, wait to make a change.

You may not be able to change insurers if you have an open claim with your current insurance company. The claim has to be paid and closed. Also, the rate quoted from your new insurance company may not take into account that most recent claim. If that’s the case, you could have a big increase when you renew with the new company, or even be responsible for a retroactive fee.

Get started with a free quote today at



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

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