Leaving home for college can be an exciting experience. In the excitement, parents may overlook the fact that college students encounter insurance issues which haven’t been considered. Before there’s an auto accident, a fire in, or a theft from, a dorm or off-campus apartment, or an unexpected trip to the emergency room, it’s important to review your and your child’s insurance needs to make sure you have the necessary coverages. Some key things to consider are:
Q: Does my homeowner’s policy (HO Policy) cover my child’s property if they live in a dorm?
A: Most HO policies cover personal belonging up to a certain percentage (usually 10%) of the personal property limit stated in your HO policy. Because of this limitation, and the possibility your student may bring high priced electronics and valuables to school, it’s important to check the coverage limits of your policy. If you think you aren’t adequately covered, consider increasing your policy limit, or purchase a renter’s policy to ensure no coverage gaps exist
Q: Do these coverages and limitations apply if my children live in off-campus housing?
A: Most HO policies will NOT cover personal belongings for students living in off-campus housing nor will the landlord’s insurance. In this case, you are encouraged to purchase renter’s insurance. And, whether your children reside in a dorm or off-campus housing, compiling a list of possessions, to include purchase prices, model numbers, etc., will assist when filing a claim, with deciding how much renter’s insurance will be needed, or how much to increase your HO policy limits. (Taking pictures or videos is also encouraged.)
Q: Are there auto insurance issues I should discuss with my agent?
A: Inform your agent if your children go away to college. If they don’t take a car, you may be entitled to a premium discount, but still be able to retain coverage should they come home for holidays, or borrow a car while away at school. If they take a car, premiums may increase or decrease, depending on the location of the school. In addition, maintaining a certain GPA may entitle you to a “good student discount”, whether they bring a car to school or not.
Q: Are there other issues to consider?
A: A few more things you may want to think about:
- Life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Identity theft insurance
Q: How do I know what I should do?
A: Making such a decision about your options is yours and yours alone under the law. As your independent insurance agent, we can help provide you with information, so you can make informed decisions.