Sending a child off to college can be an exciting and anxious time for parents. They worry about their college student’s safety, roommates, and independent living. From paying for tuition, textbooks, and supplies to registering for classes, it can be easy to forget about something just as important: insurance for your college student. Here are five insurance tips for you and your college student:
Your Student’s Age and Status
Check with your insurance agent regarding your homeowners policy and your college student. Some policies will cover a full-time student if they were a resident of your household before moving out to attend school. Coverage may not apply for part-time students. Policies may also limit coverage to students unless they are either under the age of 24 and related to the policyholder or in the policyholder’s care and under the age of 21.
Driving at School
If your college student takes a car to college and both the student and the car are listed on your auto insurance policy, your student will have coverage. If students have their own auto policy, make sure liability coverage is purchased in an amount at least equal to what you have on your own auto insurance policy. Purchasing only the minimum limits required by state law could mean owing a large amount out of pocket if they are involved in an accident. Your insurance agent can help you determine appropriate limits for your situation.
Most homeowners policies cover student’s belongings while at college, up to 10% of the insurance amount covering the parents’ personal property (see “Your Student’s Age and Status” above for requirements). For example, if your policy has a personal property coverage limit of $100,000, the policy will cover your student’s property up to a maximum of $10,000. If this amount of insurance is too low, talk with your insurance agent about increasing the limits on your policy or purchasing a renters insurance policy.
Laptops and Other Electronics
Many college students own laptops and other electronics. Depending on the value of the laptop and the personal property coverage limits on your homeowners policy, you may need to consider adding “scheduled personal property” to your policy to cover the laptop and other high-value items. Talk with your insurance agent about these items to determine if they need additional coverage.
If your college student is covered by your homeowners policy (see “Your Student’s Age and Status” above), the policy will generally cover their liability for any injuries or damages they may cause to others while at school. If you choose to purchase a renters insurance policy for your student, this type of policy also includes liability protection.
This is an exciting time for you and your college student. Keep them safe with the right insurance policy so you can both enjoy the experience!