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  • Aetna to Offer Tuition Refund Insurance for 2012-2013 School Year

    HARTFORD, Conn., August 30, 2012 — College tuition is a major expense for students and their parents. Unfortunately, significant injury or illness may prevent students from completing a semester. Many schools have a refund policy, but if the injury or illness happens later in the semester, students are at risk of losing tuition for that semester. To help members ensure they will not lose out on their education investment, Aetna (NYSE: AET) Student Health is now offering access to Tuition Refund Insurance at participating colleges and universities.

    "College tuition can be one of the most expensive investments someone makes in their lifetime, and it is essential to protect that investment," says Chekesha Kidd, head of Aetna Student Health. "With this product, we are offering students the ability to safeguard their tuition when they are medically unable to complete the semester."

    The Student Protection Plan by GradGuard™ provides financial protection if it becomes necessary to withdraw from college due to a medical condition. It refunds 100% of paid tuition, room and board, and other school related expenses up to the limits of the policy.

    Besides tuition reimbursement, The Student Protection Plan offers four additional benefits:

    • Online reputation monitoring: includes customized online name discovery and analysis, reputation assessment and ongoing monitoring, powered by Reputation.com;

    • Identity theft protection and resolution: monitors the internet for fraudulent use of up to ten registered credit and debit cards, provides a single and secure registration site for all cards, and offers personalized assistance in fraud resolution for

    students;

    • Computer repair and virus detection: offers students $1,000 of physical damage and $1,000 of computer virus coverage (not available to residents of New York);

    • Extended warranty: provides up to five years of extended warranty from date of purchase on new items with continuous membership in The Student Protection Plan. Eligible items have a purchase price up to $5,000 and include electronics, audio equipment and home appliances. Examples include but are not limited to: DVD/Blu-ray players, digital cameras, coffee makes, toaster ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, humidifiers, and vacuums (not available to residents of Maine).

    "These extra protection benefits are tailored specifically to the student demographic." Kidd said. "By adding The Student Protection Plan to our robust suite of student-focused products and services, we hope to reduce the burden on students entering a new school year. It is one more way we are helping students protect themselves from unexpected life events."

    About GradGuard
    GradGuard™ is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI aims to offer protection for college life. For more information, visit www.gradguard.com or call 877-556-3984. GradGuard™ and The Student Protection Plan are products of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC. Tuition Refund Insurance is underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, Glen Allen,VA.

    About Aetna
    Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com,/a>.

    GradGuard™ and Aetna are independent contractors and not employees or agents of each other.

  • Before Students Head Back to School, GradGuard™ Shares Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students

    Phoenix, AZ and Boston, MA (PRWEB) July 03, 2012

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest

    October 3, 2011, Phoenix, Arizona – National Multi-Housing Council – Student Housing Conference – New research from Next Generation Insurance Group (NGI) reveals that college students are often unaware of their exposure to property and financial losses due to fire, theft and vandalism in on- and off-campus housing. Inadequate liability protection also places unnecessary financial burden on Student Housing Providers for property damages caused by resident carelessness and negligence.

    Government data confirms that fire and theft are of particular concern. The most recent data available from U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center indicates that, on average, an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur annually in the United States. These fires resulted in an average of approximately five deaths, 50 injuries and $26 million in property loss each year. Over the 2007-2009 data period, roughly 28,000 burglaries were reported on campuses each year, with in excess of 14,000 per year occurring in the residence halls. (2007-2009 ed.gov safety statistics) http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/criminal2007-09.pdf

    Students living independently for the first time may mistakenly believe that their parents’ homeowners insurance will protect them. In many cases, homeowners insurance contains high deductibles or eligibility requirements that may exclude certain claims, ultimately making it insufficient or inadequate for college students and their prospective risks.

    Rental housing expert, Ben Hoglund, CPM, believes that it is incumbent upon student housing providers to educate their residents on the importance of adequate renters insurance protection. "They aren’t going to learn that in class," proclaimed Hoglund.

    The survey conducted by Hoglund and NGI highlights the need for renter education. The survey "2011 Campus Housing Risk Mitigation Study" researched the types, causes and monetary impact of property damage occurring on college campuses across the United States. The study also addressed student and housing provider awareness of available insurance products to mitigate these risks. The findings show that:

    Thirty-three percent of respondents indicated that it is not their policy to require reimbursement for resident-caused fire or property damage in excess of $5,000. Campus policy on required property insurance varies, with many schools having no requirement with regard to renters insurance. Twenty-four percent of respondents were not aware that some renters insurance products do not include both personal property and liability protections. A majority of respondents estimated that less than 60 percent of their student residents are aware that they can be held financially responsible for damage to university property for which they are at fault. Vandalism, bicycle theft and electronics theft are the most reported personal property losses by campus residents.

    "Student housing providers are making great strides in terms of knowledge of sophisticated insurance products and programs to improve education around resident safety issues, but there is more still to be done," said John Fees, CEO, Next Generation Insurance Group. "This survey provides strong basis to indicate that campus housing leaders have significant opportunities to reduce property damage losses and lessen resident financial exposure through adoption of policies commonly employed in the private sector."

    Due to higher insurance deductibles and low collection rates on resident damages, private sector housing providers have become proactive in their efforts to mitigate property financial losses caused by resident carelessness and negligence. The survey concludes that these negative trends can be improved by:

    Policy changes to require resident reimbursement for community property damages due to resident carelessness or negligence. Recommending that campus residents obtain personal property insurance as well as personal liability coverage. Improved awareness of renters insurance features, especially regarding personal liability protection. Improved education targeted toward students and other campus residents regarding their own potential financial responsibility in the event of fire, flood or other property damage caused by their own carelessness or negligence, or lack of reimbursement for damages to their personal property in the event of an accident for which they are not at fault. The Campus Housing Risk Mitigation Research Study was conducted among Chief Housing Officers from the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO – I) on behalf of Next Generation Insurance Group. These Housing Officers have a combined occupancy of nearly a quarter million students.

    NGI’s insurance products include renters insurance that cover personal property loss in the case of fire, certain natural disasters, theft and vandalism, and provides personal liability protection for bodily injuries to another person or for damages to another person’s property if an incident occurs within the rented residence or elsewhere.

    About Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI)
    Founded by veteran affinity and collegiate marketers, Next Generation Insurance Group builds specialized insurance programs and delivers innovation to the insurance industry, enabling consumers to mitigate the risks in their lives, fulfilling the needs of underserved consumer groups, especially first-time insurance buyers – young adults, students, graduates and their families. An authority in life-stage marketing and emerging trends and markets, NGI’s insurance programs serve the next generation of insurance customers by providing "right fit" insurance products that are distinguished by their relevance, convenience and value.

    NGI is a nationally licensed insurance agency that delivers branded insurance programs through multiple channels including national and regional insurance agents, affinity groups and financial institutions. In partnership with Sallie Mae, it created Sallie Mae Insurance Services to offer specialized programs to colleges and universities, Upromise and Sallie Mae customers. NGI’s offerings include: GradGuard, the nation’s first comprehensive insurance and benefit solution for college students and their families; CollegeRentersInsurance.com, offering personal property and liability protection for college students; and StudentHealthPlan.com, an alternative to school-sponsored health insurance for full- and part-time and non-traditional students. NGI has been awarded a provisional patent for its Education Life-Stage Insurance Programs. More information is available at www.nextgenins.com. Follow the company on Twitter @nextgenins for life-stage risk news, information and product updates.

  • eHealth Announces Partnership With GradGuard to Deliver New Health Insurance Option to College Students

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Aug 17, 2010 (MARKETWIRE) -- eHealth, Inc., parent company of eHealthInsurance, the leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families, and small businesses, today announced a partnership with Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC to provide the GradGuard Student Health Plan, a new student health insuranceoption for college students and their families.

    The GradGuard Student Health Plan gives students and their families a new alternative for mitigating student health risks while also fulfilling many schools' insurance requirements. According to Next Generation Insurance Group, GradGuard is the first student health insurance plan to include tuition refund insurance (up to $5000.00), and is the only plan of its kind available nationwide to any student attending any accredited college or university.

    GradGuard accepts all qualified applicants for coverage regardless of medical history. A twelve month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions may be waived if the applicant can demonstrate a year of continuous coverage under another health insurance policy.

    "Many schools require proof of insurance, yet they only offer one plan," said Next Generation Insurance President & Co-Founder William Suneson. "A student who is no longer covered by a parent could be forced to purchase their school's plan, which may or may not meet his or her needs. We designed the GradGuard Student Health Plan to give students an alternative choice while trying to balance affordability and coverage. The plan provides broader accident and sickness benefits than many limited-coverage school sponsored policies."

    "We're pleased to offer the GradGuard Student Health Plan as another quality health insurance choice for today's students and their parents," said Bruce Telkamp, Executive Vice President of eHealth. "It's an especially valuable option for those who don't have the option of retaining coverage under a parent's plan or who may have pre-existing medical conditions that would make it difficult to qualify for other individually-purchased insurance products."

    About eHealth

    eHealth, Inc. is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website, http://www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through its eCommerce On-Demand solution (eOD), www.ehealth.com/eOD, eHealth is also a leading provider of on-demand e-commerce software services. eHealth's eOD platform provides a suite of hosted solutions that enable health plan providers and resellers to market and distribute products online. eHealth's eCommerce On-Demand solution is currently available to health plan providers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options and choose the right plan through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber (http://www.planprescriber.com). PlanPrescriber's decision support tools are licensed to and incorporated into the websites and pharmacy counters of a number of major pharmacy chains and retailers. These pharmacy partnerships also drive high quality Medicare traffic to www.planprescriber.com.

    About GradGuard:

    GradGuard is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI has established the nation's first comprehensive insurance and benefits solution specifically designed for the collegiate market. GradGuard.com aims to offer protection for college life. Its products include tuition refund insurance, renters insurance and student health insurance. For more information, visitwww.gradguard.com or call 877-556-3984. The student accident and sickness coverage is written on a blanket policy with College Parents of America and is underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, by Fairmont Specialty, a part of Crum & Forster.

  • Sending A Student To College? For The First Time, Tuition Insurance Is Now Available Nationwide To Protect That Investment.

    BOSTON, MASS.; July 21, 2010- Tuition insurance is now available to any student enrolled in an accredited higher education institution through the first-ever national group policy made available by GradGuard, a service of Next Generation Insurance (NGI) Group, LLC.

    The announcement, made by NGI Chief Executive Officer, John Fees, comes as families of more than 14 million full-time students prepare to send their sons and daughters to college this September. Until now, the family investment in tuition and related expenses - which averages between $15,213 and $35,636 for one year in a four-year undergraduate program, according to The College Board - was a gamble.

    According to a 2009 study by Student Monitor, 27 percent of students had to themselves, or knew someone who had to, withdraw from college mid-semester due to health issues or a death in the family. Until now, tuition insurance was typically available only at select private colleges and universities.

    Said NGI's Fees, "Parents may mistakenly believe that colleges refund tuition in the case of unexpected illness, injury or even death. In fact, a 2010 study by College Parents of America indicates that most colleges and universities do not provide a full refund if a student is forced to withdraw from school for medical reasons. Through GradGuard, all parents and students now have the opportunity to protect their investment in education."

    GradGuard's tuition insurance program provides up to $50,000 of annual tuition insurance for the non-refunded financial loss associated with the cost of attending college. The GradGuard plan is available to students nationwide and covers verifiable losses connected to the cost of attendance. This includes not only the loss of non-refunded tuition payments, but also academic fees, room and board, books and travel to and from the academic program.

    "For many families, tuition is the largest expenditure after their home. We send our children off to school with a great deal of optimism, as we should. As with other standard insurance products - life, travel, auto - the concept is based on hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst," said Fees.

    The GradGuard tuition refund plan is available for undergraduate or graduate programs, and can be purchased at any time with coverage for any accredited institution. It is also available to international students studying in the U.S. and to American students studying abroad. GradGuard also offers the Student Protection Plan, a bundle of insurance and lifestyle benefits designed to protect college students including emergency medical evacuation insurance, identity theft protection and resolution services, and protection for their personal computers.

    NGI developed the blanket tuition insurance policy for College Parents of America, a national membership organization of current and future college parents, in order to give members and their families a convenient and effective way to protect their college investment. GradGuard's tuition refund plan offers families flexible coverage with levels ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 with affordable monthly or annual payment options.

    College Parents of America President James A. Boyle said, "Not all families need $50,000 of annual coverage, but nearly every student would benefit from having at least $5,000 of annual coverage. Even if a college has a generous refund policy, it is unlikely that a student will ever be refunded the cost for academic fees, books or room and board."

    "With college costs increasing annually, and the substantial number of students who are at risk of leaving college for medical reasons, it makes sense for parents to protect their investment in education with tuition refund insurance," added Boyle.

    About GradGuard: GradGuard is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI has established the nation's first comprehensive insurance and benefits solution specifically designed for the collegiate market. GradGuard.com aims to offer protection for college life. Its products include tuition refund insurance, renters insurance and student health insurance. For more information, visit www.gradguard.com/tuition or call 877-556-3984. Tuition refund insurance is underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, an "A" (Excellent) rated company according to industry watcher A.M. Best.

  • GradGuard Launches Student Protection Plan for College Market

    April 19, 2010, Boston, MA, - GradGuard, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI Group), has joined forces with College Parents of America to launch the Student Protection Plan, featuring tuition refund insurance and other collegiate lifestyle insurance benefits intended to support and protect college students on a successful path to achievement in school.

    The announcement was made jointly by William Suneson, managing partner, NGI Group and James Boyle, president, College Parents of America, a national membership organization of current and future college parents.

    "College students face several risks including illness or disability which could force them to withdraw from school, travel related losses, increasing Identity Theft exposure and theft of their many personal gadgets;" said Suneson "We developed our GradGuard Student Protection Plan to help students and their parents address many of the concerns that families confront as the school year starts and progresses,". According to Suneson, the Student Protection Plan features $15,000 of annual tuition refund insurance coverage and includes:

    -Identity Theft Protection and Resolution Services -Warranty Extension
    -Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
    -Physical and Virus Damage Protection for a Personal Computer
    -Small Gadget Theft Insurance

    "If purchased separately, these benefits could cost a family hundreds of dollars"," said Suneson, who spearheaded NGI's efforts to put together this cost-efficient bundle. "We are pleased to be able to work with College Parents of America to include the Student Protection Plan as part of a new Premium Membership package in that organization."

    Suneson explained that the Student Protection Plan, which can be found at www.gradguard.com/tuition, is now automatically included in the $299 College Parents of America Premium Membership. In addition to the benefits listed above, membership in CPA also includes access to deals and discounts on college-related spending, eligibility for exclusive College Parents of America scholarships, and information and advocacy on both a national and state level.

    Tuition refund insurance is a new product from GradGuard, underwritten by Markel Insurance, an "A" Rated" (Excellent) company according to industry watcher A.M. Best. Recognizing that families are making a significant investment in higher education, tuition refund insurance is intended to help families protect their investment by allowing them to recover the loss that results if their student is forced to withdraw from school for medical or mental health reasons.

    "Not only has tuition risen dramatically in the past 10 years, but school refund policies have, at the same time, grown much stricter," said College Parents of America's Boyle. "A typical situation is that parents are not able to recover any money if their student is forced to withdraw more than four weeks into a semester."

    Boyle added that, with The College Board reporting an average sticker price for tuition and room & board at a public university of $15,213, and the average such price at a private college of $35,636, he believes that GradGuard and College Parents of America have created a critical and much-needed way for families to protect the potential loss from such a massive family expenditure.

    GradGuard
    GradGuard is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (NGI). Founded by veteran collegiate, affinity and insurance marketing executives, NGI has established the collegiate industry's first comprehensive, integrated insurance and lifestyle benefits solution. GradGuard's mission is to provide peace of mind while identifying the best insurance and benefit alternatives for college students, recent graduates, young adults and their families. For more information, visit www.gradguard.com or call 877-556-3984.

    College Parents of America
    College Parent of America is the nation's only membership organization of current and future college parents. Founded in 1997, its mission is to help parents understand, prepare for, protect and maximize their family's college investment. College Parents of America fulfills its mission by providing its members with special offers, such as Tuition Insurance; a premium membership option, including the Student Protection Plan; timely information; and advocacy on both a national and state level. For more information, visit www.collegeparents.org or call 888-761-6702.

  • NGI Group and AfterCollege Help Graduates with their Insurance During Transition from College to the Workforce

    Recent graduates report lack of Job opportunities, creating fewer health insurance options for America's largest uninsured population

    Phoenix, AZ - August 6, 2009 - Next Generation Insurance Group, LLC (http://www.nextgenins.com), founder of GradGuard.com, the leading insurance resource for new college graduates, and AfterCollege, Inc., the nation's largest provider of online career networks for college students and recent graduates, today announced a strategic partnership aimed at delivering insurance options to America's largest uninsured population - young adults.

    According to recent research conducted by AfterCollege, 78% of 2009 graduates are having a difficult time finding a job, leaving employer-sponsored group health insurance on hold for the majority of recent graduates. According to the Commonwealth Fund and U.S. Census Data, 13.2 million Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 are already uninsured, making this group the nation's largest uninsured demographic.

    The partnership between AfterCollege and Next Generation Insurance Group (NGI Group) will connect AfterCollege's large membership base of recent graduates with NGI's specialty insurance products, including short-term medical insurance, which helps bridge the gap between graduation and employer-sponsored health insurance.

    "Our research revealed how difficult the job search has been for recent graduates in this tough economy," said AfterCollege Founder & CEO, Robert Angulo. "GradGuard.com offers the 'right-fit' insurance products for our audience and we're hopeful that their products will help of members during their transition to life after college."

    "The prolonged job search of this year's recent graduates increases the likelihood that many recent graduates will join the growing number of young adults who don't carry health insurance," said John Fees, co-founder and CEO of Next Generation Insurance Group. "We are pleased to work with AfterCollege to fulfill the diverse needs of new graduates and commend them for helping new graduates discover the many affordable insurance options that are available through GradGuard.com"

    The collaboration between AfterCollege and Next Generation Insurance Group will include a full suite of insurance products available at www.gradguard.com/aftercollege, including health insurance, renters insurance, travel insurance, and short-term medical insurance.

    About AfterCollege
    Founded in 1999, AfterCollege, Inc. (www.aftercollege.com) is an online professional platform that connects students, faculty, alumni and employers through customized career networks at colleges and professional organizations across the country. Today, AfterCollege powers the largest number of career networks on the internet, using its patented process to deliver thousands of exclusive opportunities to students and alumni. Its proprietary platform and job distribution technology translate into substantive job content for job seekers and into more qualified applicants for employers. AfterCollege's unique approach is patented under U.S. Patent Number 7,213,019. AfterCollege is certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

    About NGI Group LLC
    Next Generation Insurance Group LLC is a national insurance sales and marketing firm that enables consumers and organizations to manage risk affordably. With headquarters in Boston and Phoenix, the firm is a nationwide authority on relevant, "right-fit" insurance products for specific life stages and life events, including http://www.gradguard.com, http://www.collegerentersinsurance.com and http://www.massdrive.com. NGI applies its expertise in affinity, collegiate, Internet and young adult marketing to design and market specialty insurance programs. For more information, please visit http://www.nextgenins.com.

  • No More School, No More Protection?: National Insurance Firm Helps New Grads Manage Risk In An Affordable Way

    Phoenix, Ariz. (May 6, 2009) - Final exams might be over, but real world responsibilities and risks are just around the corner for hundreds of thousands of college and high school graduates this spring. Fortunately, this month Next Generation Insurance Group announces the launch of GradGuard.com, an innovative online resource offering a complete portfolio of insurance products specifically designed for college students, new graduates, young adults and their families.

    Intended to take the mystery and confusion out of the insurance buying process, GradGuard.com is the leading resource in "right-fit" insurance, delivering applicable products specific to life stage. Moreover, GradGuard.com does the homework for young adults seeking to manage risk, helping to match the individual with the insurance coverage they actually need at this time in their life.

    "With many graduates being dropped from their parents' policies or the schools' health insurance program upon commencement, we saw a genuine need for insurance programs that cater to this particular life stage and events," explains John Fees, Co-Founder and CEO of Next Generation Insurance Group. "To get off on the right foot, young adults need the right products to protect their financial well-being and provide peace-of-mind."

    Through GradGuard.com, Next Generation Insurance Group offers a portfolio of products including: health, short- term major medical, auto, renters' and travel insurance for college students, graduates, young adults and their families. Online access is designed for optimal ease-of-use and has user-friendly navigation when looking for right- fit insurance products.

    In addition to GradGuard.com, an educational companion site geared for Gen-Y, Dear GG, features fresh, relevant content and a forum for discussing insurance and the risks facing young adults in an understandable, audience-specific manner. Also featuring the witty and to-the-point 'GG' personality as a voice of young adults, DearGG answers questions, while addressing current and relevant insurance topics.

    "While some young adults may think that they are invincible, there are many who are genuinely interested in learning how to effectively protect themselves and would readily jump at the chance to secure affordable, right-fit coverage," says Fees. "Young adults and their parents simply need a relevant and trust-worthy insurance resource that gives them the ability to manage risk; this is what GradGuard.com provides."

    More about GradGuard.com
    GradGuard.com is the only online resource dedicated to the insurance needs of young adults. Offering insurance programs including "GAP" health insurance between graduation and full-time employment, travel insurance for graduation trips or renters insurance for personal possessions, GradGuard has done the homework regarding the risks facing new graduates and their families. GradGuard.com is a service of Next Generation Insurance Group LLC, a national specialty insurance sales and marketing firm that enables consumers and organizations to manage risk affordably. For more information please visit www.gradguard.com and www.nextgenins.com.

News

  • Renter’s insurance offered for students

    On college campuses, many accidents and misfortunes can occur that cause exorbitant amounts of money to be spent on repairs.

    Next Generation Insurance Group, based in Boston, has a partnership with Texas Tech for affordable renter’s insurance for college-aged people.

    John Fees, co-founder and CEO of the company, believes this type of insurance is a necessity for students living both on and off campus.

    “What most parents don’t know is that their students are actually not covered in cases such as personal items being stolen,” he said. “Without renter’s insurance, they will wind up having to pay for all the damages and lost items out of their own pockets.”

    ----------------------------------------------

    To read the full article on Texas Tech's Daily Toreadan, please click here.

  • New players expand tuition insurance business

    Some students preparing to enroll this fall at Carnegie Mellon University have taken steps to protect their substantial investment in higher education by purchasing a special kind of insurance policy, one that may be unfamiliar even to veterans of the insurance industry.

    For more than seven decades, CMU students have had access to an optional college insurance program known as the Tuition Refund Plan, which promises to reimburse students and their families for up to 100 percent of their semester fees if they need to withdraw because of a physical illness or accident...

    To read the full article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, click here

  • Consider individual health coverage for your student

    One thing about health care coverage: It never fails to leave you challenged and confused.

    The latest evidence is that many colleges and universities are phasing out or scaling back their school-sponsored medical plans sold to students. Blame it mostly on escalating costs associated with the higher coverage requirements of health care reform...

    To read the full article in the Chicago Tribune, please click here.

  • Have You Heard Of Tuition Insurance? (video)

    Our tuition insurance video was mentioned on CheapScholar.org! Vist CheapScholar to check out the article here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students in the LA Daily News

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    To see the full article in the LA Daily News, please click here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students in The Miami Herald

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    To read the full article in The Miami Herald, please click here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students in the Star Tribune

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    To read the full article in the Star Tribune, please click here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students in the Houston Chronicle

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    To read the full article in The Houston Chronicle, please click here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students in the San Francisco Chronicle

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    To ready the complete article in the San Francisco Chronicle, please click here.

  • Five Assumptions That May Cost College Students on Boston.com

    As nearly 3 million new college students and their families prepare to start college this year, now is an excellent time for parents and students to examine important financial issues that can impact the entire family. The cost of college is frequently among the largest investments a family and student make. As a result, it is important to prepare for and reduce the potential and unintended costs surrounding college life. According to GradGuard(TM), an insurance and benefits service for college students, a way to start is by evaluating your assumptions about college life and exploring alternatives for how you can protect your investment in a college education.

    For the complete article on Boston.com, please click here.

  • Consider individual health coverage for your student

    One thing about health care coverage: It never fails to leave you challenged and confused.

    The latest evidence is that many colleges and universities are phasing out or scaling back their school-sponsored medical plans sold to students. Blame it mostly on escalating costs associated with the higher coverage requirements of health care reform...

    To read the full article in the Chicago Tribune, please click here.

  • Some Facts About Tuition Refund Insurance

    This article by Ian Welham of Complete College Planning Solutions details the pros and cons of tuition refund insurance, and points out reasons families may want to consider purchasing it for their students. You can read the complete article here.

  • College Must-Have: Insurance for Your Student

    College kids may be young and fearless, but that doesn't mean they're immune to illness, theft or even lawsuits. To be sure, student insurance coverage is as important a decision to make as course curriculum and perhaps a monthly allowance. But what types of insurance do your children need?

    Health Insurance

    Even if your kids don't think they need it, they may not have a choice. Nearly one-third of colleges and universities require kids to have student health insurance upon enrollment, according to a 2008 study by the Government Accountability Office. But thanks to the new health care law, young adults not covered by an employer-provided plan can remain on their parents' health care plan until age 26. That's usually the best bet because employer-based health insurance is usually the most comprehensive.

    However, students moving far from home may not have access to providers in your plan. If they're out of network, you may have to pay a higher deductible and co-insurance. Dave Evans, senior vice president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America in Alexandria, Va., recommends reviewing your health care plan during open enrollment season this year. Try to pick one for next year that's flexible on out-of-network providers if your child is attending a faraway college. Another consideration is that companies are making employers pay more of the premiums for covering dependents. If there are gaps in your plan, Evans suggests setting up a health savings or flexible spending account to set aside money for student medical expenses. "If your daughter needs to see a specialist out of network, your account can cover out-of-pocket costs," Evans says.

    Another option is a student health insurance plan from the school. The GAO study states that more than half of colleges sponsor their own plans for full-time students. The annual premium averages $850. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of college financial-assistance websites FastWeb and FinAid, says these student insurance plans do a good job covering immunizations and handling colds and the flu, but not so much for larger medical issues. "They typically have more limited benefits and more exclusions than traditional plans," he says.

    Most student insurance plans limit catastrophic coverage to a maximum of $50,000 per accident or illness, the GAO study reports. Some even have caps on the amount they'll pay for specific services. Many also exclude coverage for injuries sustained while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If students do opt for the school's plan, read the specifics first. Evans says it should provide catastrophic coverage of ideally $500,000. It also should offer coverage for prescription drugs, mental health care, preventive care and medical evacuation for students studying abroad.

    If parents don't have health insurance, students can opt for an individual plan. Health plans listed on eHealthInsurance had annual premiums as low as $600 a year for basic coverage to healthy 18- to 22-year-olds. There are also individual plans specifically for college students. The best known one is GradGuard, offered by the nonprofit College Parents of America, as an individual plan that offers a wider choice of providers than college health plans. The basic plan covers up to $500,000 per condition, and the premium plan covers $750,000. For college students younger than 26, the annual premiums range from $930 to $2,885, depending on the specific plan and the deductible. The downside is if your kid has a chronic health problem such as asthma, he or she may not be able to get an individual student insurance plan, or at least an affordable one. While the health care reform law will prevent insurers from denying coverage to anyone with pre-existing medical conditions, that provision won't kick in until 2014.

    Property Insurance

    No matter where your college-bound student ends up living, he or she definitely needs insurance to cover theft and damage of personal property, such as a laptop, stereo and bicycle. In a rental, the landlord's insurance doesn't cover their items if stolen or damaged due to fire, theft or other circumstances.

    If you have homeowners insurance, your child's personal property is covered if she lives in a dormitory and usually covered if he or she lives off campus, says Bill Wilson, associate vice president of education and research for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Usually most homeowners insurance policies will allot 10% of personal property to a student not living at home. "So if you have a $100,000 policy, your kid will have $10,000 of coverage," Wilson says. But he advises students to make a list of possessions and estimate their value. "Add up the Xbox, laptop, TV, bicycle and clothes, and it could be more than you think."

    Some student insurance may not cover college kids living by themselves off campus. Check your policy or contact your agent to see if the kids are covered, or consider renters insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, premiums average from $15 to $30 per month, depending on rental location and size as well as the policyholder's possessions. Like a homeowners policy, you can choose between personal property and liability coverage, and cash value or replacement cost coverage.

    If your kid is bringing a car to campus, it will be covered under your auto insurance. Insurers still consider college students as household residents just living away from home temporarily. But check if the car's new location will change coverage, Wilson says.

    "If your daughter is moving from a rural area to downtown or is parked on the street instead of (in) a garage, your premiums may be adjusted," Wilson says.

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/11/23/college-must-have-insurance-for-your-student/#ixzz1gzlMDeyx

  • Is it smart to buy tuition insurance?

    BY Robert Digiacomo, Bankrate — 08/24/11

    http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/consider-tuition-insurance-1.aspx

    Imagine making a $25,000 investment, only to lose the entire sum less than a month later. Although such an investment scenario sounds like a risky proposition, that's exactly what can happen to parents of college students if their child has to withdraw during the semester for medical or other reasons.

    Most colleges and universities will only issue partial refunds after the semester has started. Few, if any, will return any money after the fourth week.

    However, parents have the option to recoup their losses through tuition insurance issued by a third-party company. Such policies offer "peace of mind" to parents, saysJoel Ohman, a certified financial planner and founder of InsuranceProviders.com.

    "Those hard-earned dollars that were scrimped and saved for years will be safeguarded, even if an unforeseen health catastrophe forces a student to withdraw," Ohman says.

    Under these policies, students who leave school because they break a leg, contract mononucleosis or are diagnosed with another medical problem can receive as much as 100 percent of paid tuition, room and board, and fees.

    The coverage typically kicks in to cover any gaps between what was paid and what the college will refund.

    If a student withdraws after the first week, for example, and the college returns 75 percent of the payment, the insurance would cover the remaining 25 percent. But some policies do not provide a 100 percent payback if a student leaves because of mental illness or psychological problems.

    Types of coverage
    A limited number of companies offer tuition insurance. Next Generation Insurance Group writes policies that can be applied to any college or university in the country, according to Bill Suneson, the company's co-founder and president.

    The company's GradGuard.com coverage starts at an annual payment of $239 for $5,000 in coverage for a semester, or $10,000 for the year, and ranges up to $599 for $25,000 for a semester or $50,000 for the year.

    "Like any insurance product, it's a matter of risk tolerance," Suneson says. "I don't think it hurts for students to have some level of refund insurance.

    The policy can be invoked for a 100 percent refund for tuition, books and fees should a student leave school due to physical or mental illness, an accident, or the death of a parent or payer.

    The GradGuard coverage also includes other benefits, such as a registry to protect against identity theft; up to $50,000 in emergency medical evacuation insurance; up to $1,000 toward computer repairs and five years of extended warranty coverage on eligible products costing up to $5,000. "The (latter) are the risks students face when they go away to college," Suneson says. "We did research to identify the common risks."

    Know the fine print
    Because tuition insurance policies shield a financial risk, they are not typically subject to clauses barring coverage for preexisting conditions. At the same time, GradGuard wouldn't cover an accident or new illness diagnosed immediately prior to the purchase of a policy, Suneson says.

    "If they have a history of chronic asthma, and withdraw, they're covered," Suneson says. "If they start school and contract mono, and try to buy insurance, we're not going to pay."

    Next Generation also has partnered with Sallie Mae to include up to $5,000 in tuition refund insurance with its Smart Option Student Loan program. By the end of 2011, the company will institute a separate insurance program for Sallie Mae customers, according to Suneson.

    A rival insurer,A.W.G. Dewar, has offered tuition refund coverage since 1930, and claims to have originated this type of policy in the U.S. Dewar's Tuition Refund Plan is not universal, but limited to a group of about 1,300 mostly private schools, including about 150 elite colleges and universities.

    Coverage varies
    Each school participating in the Dewar plan fields a customized policy, with costs ranging from 1 percent to 5 percent of its tuition and fees, according to Carmen Duarte, a corporate spokeswoman for Dewar, which is part of OneBeacon Insurance Group.

    For example, the cost of Bard College, a small liberal arts college in New York's Hudson Valley, for the 2011-12 year ranges from $43,600 for a returning off-campus student to $56,962 for a first-year student living on campus.

    Bard's tuition refund plan charges $467 a year for an on-campus student and $362 for a nonresident, according to information on the CollegeRefund.com website. Coverage includes total reimbursement of the insured term tuition and fees for injury and sickness withdrawals and 60 percent for mental health withdrawals.

    The policy coordinates with Bard's refund schedule, which ranges from 80 percent back for a withdrawal in the first week down to no refund after the fourth week. "After the college's refund policy expires, our benefits typically become the only source of refund available," Duarte says.

    Like any insurance, Dewar's plans stipulate certain exceptions, including those for "war, riot, nuclear reaction, illegal drug use, and intentional self-inflicted injury or sickness," according to Duarte.

    Whether your child is attending a state school or an Ivy League institution, weigh the investment -- and risks -- before deciding if tuition insurance makes sense.

    "Paying for college is the second biggest investment most families will make," Suneson says. "People buy travel insurance, they buy wedding insurance -- why not protect your investment?"

  • Tuition protection: Insurance option limits financial hit if student is ill or hurt and withdraws

    SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch

    Link: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2011/07/31/tuition-prot...

    Parents, worried that the check they wrote for $5,000 — or likely more — to cover this fall’s college tuition and room and board is akin to gambling, now have a safeguard against potential losses if things don’t work out. It is called tuition insurance, and it typically allows parents to recover some of their money if their child becomes sick or gets injured and has to withdraw from school. In some cases, policies kick in if, for example, there is a death in the family.

    But don’t look at tuition insurance as party insurance. The policies don’t cover students who withdraw for skipping too many classes. “You can insure every major investment in your life but education,” said John Fees, co-founder and CEO of NextGeneration Insurance, which introduced GradGuard insurance a year ago.

    Parents sending a healthy 18- or 19-year-old freshman off to college for the first time might dismiss the value of tuition insurance.

    Such presumptions can be dangerous. Illness, anxiety and depression all can force students to withdraw from college.

    “Two of my three kids came within an inch of filing a claim that I would have never dreamed of,” said Dana Tufts, president of A.W.G. Dewar, an insurer that offers tuition insurance through 1,300 colleges and private elementary and high schools.

    Before pulling the trigger on any policy, make sure to calculate whether it is worth a few hundred dollars to protect against a small risk, a local financial adviser says.

    “Insurance is for major problems, not just every single dollar that goes out of your pocket,” said Paul Dolce of Dublin-based Financial Solutions.

    For starters, if a student has to drop out of college, families are out only the costs of a quarter or semester of college — not a full year of costs like what could happen at private elementary or secondary schools.

    Second, many colleges and universities already offer some protection.

    Most schools typically will refund at least a portion of the costs if a student withdraws from school before classes start or early in the term. Students well into a quarter or a semester when they leave school might be able to get incompletes for their classes and finish the work later.

    That’s where tuition insurance fits in. Students who withdraw from school because they’re sick or have been hurt can recoup their nonrefunded costs for tuition, room and board, fees and even transportation costs. Some policies go further to include costs if a student has to withdraw because of the death of a family member.

    Students also are eligible to recover some costs if they withdraw because of mental-health issues.

    Dewar’s insurance is sold through schools. GradGuard is offered to any student of an accredited higher-education institution.

    NextGeneration also has joined with student-loan provider Sallie Mae and College Parents of America to sell its products.

    GradGuard is sold in $5,000 increments up to $50,000. The cost for $50,000 of coverage can be about $600, Fees said. GradGuard also sells a package of other insurance products for identify theft and protection of personal computers.

    At the college level, the Dewar policy typically costs about 1 percent of the price of tuition, Tufts said.

    Tuition insurance is partly a product of the explosive rise in tuition and other costs for college from a generation ago that could put a far bigger dent in family finances today.

    “This is about protecting a loss a consumer may face,” Fees said.