With classes now starting for many college and universities, students all over the country are leaving their parents’ homes and moving into on- and off-campus housing near their respective campuses.
If you have a student getting ready to attend college, there are a number of important insurance considerations to take into account including property and liability insurance, auto insurance, and health insurance.
Below is a list of recommendations we have put together to ensure both you and your child are properly covered while he or she is away at school.
If you have any specific coverage questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.
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1. Dorm Inventory. You should put together a list of any items your student plans on taking to school, especially any high value items like computers, cameras, tablets, and musical instruments. (If you have receipts for those items, we highly recommend storing them in a safe place or scanning them into your computer.) That way if a theft, fire, or other disaster occurs, you will have a list of everything and their associated values.
2. Homeowners Insurance. Homeowners insurance policies differ in the way they will respond to your student’s personal possessions while away from home. Some policies automatically extend the coverage to any property located away from the premises, other policies may limit the amount of coverage to a percentage of the total contents value of the policy (usually 10 percent), and some policies do not provide any coverage at all, which means that your student would need his or her own renters insurance policy.
3. Accidental Breakage. Coverage for accidental damage and liquid spills is not provided by your homeowners insurance policy so you may want to consider a stand-alone policy for your student’s laptop, desktop, tablet, or other expensive electronics.
4. Auto Insurance. If your child has been driving the family car and will now be at least 100 miles away at school, you may be eligible for significant policy discounts. Likewise, if your child takes the car to school, it’s very important to let the insurance company know so that the proper coverage can be added to the policy.
5. Health Insurance. As a student, your child is most likely eligible to be covered under your health insurance plan until he or she turns 26. Even if your child is married, not living at your house, not financially dependent, or eligible for his or her own health insurance plan. Full details can be found here and here.
6. Tuition Insurance. Did you know there is insurance available to cover most (and sometimes all) of your student’s tuition and on-campus housing if he or she withdraws at any time during a semester? Tuition insurance is available at a cost of 1 to 3 percent of your student’s tuition, and it will provide coverage if your child withdraws from school due to a covered medical reason, including emotional, nervous or mental disorders.