With most college students living in a dorm or off-campus housing, it’s imperative they review their family’s insurance policies to ensure they have insurance coverage for their possessions.
With expensive electronics, sports equipment, and furniture inside of many student apartments, it’s important to make sure you have coverage for those items.
Unfortunately, for many of these students, they will not have any insurance coverage under their parents’ homeowners or renters policies.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends doing the following before your child goes to college:
- Create an inventory to document what’s leaving home: The I.I.I. suggests making a list of all the items your student will be taking with him and listing their estimated value. To make the process easier, you can use a free web-based software called know KnowYourStuff.org. Be sure to note specific high-value items such as a computer, camera or musical instrument and scan receipts into the system to document their retail value. Having an up-to-date inventory can help determine how much insurance to purchase and get insurance claims settled faster in the event of theft, fire or other types of disasters.
- Check your homeowners or renters policies for off-site coverage: Many homeowners and renters policies will provide some financial protection your college student’s personal possessions while they are away from home and residing on a college campus. Other policies will limit the amount of coverage to 10 percent of the total amount of a policy’s overall coverage for personal possessions. In both cases, the student’s possessions would be covered for the same disasters that are in a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. These include fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters, such as a hurricane. The student would not be covered for typical college type mishaps, such as accidently spilling coffee on an expensive electronic device. Keep in mind, though, that some policies will not provide coverage for personal possessions located away from the residence. It’s important you work with your agent to see exactly what kind of coverage your policy provides.
- Review auto insurance policies: If a student has been driving the family car and will now be away at college, at least 100 miles from home, you should let your agent know as you may be eligible for a discount. If a student has his or her own car, the insurance company should be informed if it will be used at school or left at home. If the car is being taken to school, the price of the policy will now be re-evaluated based on where the school is located. If a student leaves a car at home, it is important to let the auto insurer know if anyone else will now be driving the car or if it will remain un-used except for when the student is home for vacation. If that is the case, the policyholder may be eligible for a discount. Many auto insurance companies will also give a discount to students who get good grades at school.
As you can see there are many insurance considerations with any kid that will be attending college. If you have any questions in regards to ensuring you and your college student are protected, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.