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Students Learn Ins and Outs of Auto Insurance As Part of State's Rigorous Financial Literacy Initiative

As part of its campaign to ensure state students are being given a solid foundation of financial literacy skills, Pennsylvania’s Department of Education has been teaching high school students a lesson designed to provide them with an understanding of auto insurance.

Developed and distributed in partnership with Pennsylvania's Department of Insurance, the lesson plan is part of the state's on-going commitment to "having every student in Pennsylvania graduate as an active and engaged citizen with knowledge and skills to be gainfully employed and make intelligent financial decisions for the future of Pennsylvania and the nation."

Specifically, the Insurance 101 lesson "gives high school students an overview of what auto insurance is, how it works, and terms associated with this coverage. The lesson also presents students with several real-life scenarios teen drivers may encounter, and asks them to choose one of two alternatives for each scenario. The lesson then shows the students the consequences, good or bad, of their choices," said Pennsylvania's Department of Insurance in a prepared statement.

Not only does the lesson teach students how they can obtain auto insurance in the most cost efficient way, it also encourages students to take driver education seriously to be responsible drivers less likely to get in accidents.

"Students are shown they can be pro-active by getting good grades and taking driver's ed courses, which can lower their auto insurance costs, and that poor choices, which lead to crashes, can be dangerous and also result in higher insurance costs for them and their parents, who in most cases are paying these insurance premiums," Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said in the statement.

The lesson plan was created last fall and has been presented to "several schools," but the corresponding PowerPoint presentation is available online for any teacher to view and show in their class. Teachers can also access a PDF that covers basic auto insurance definitions.

Pennsylvania has been leading the country in financial literacy education since a task force was appointed in 2011 to study "research, best practices and trends in financial education in order to formulate recommendations on how to improve financial education in Pennsylvania’s schools."

The task force released a report detailing its findings; it found that more and more parents are looking to K-12 schools to teach children financial literacy skills, which schools can accomplish easily thanks to "a wide variety of free and low-cost curriculum materials from which schools can choose making the implementation of a financial education curriculum a no- to low-cost endeavor."

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

1/23/2017

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