College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current policies. So, as you get your children ready to head off to school in the fall, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that tuition check)- a review of your insurance coverage. It’s important to keep in mind that policy language varies from state to state, and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, but below is a general guide.
HOMEOWNERS (may vary by state and individual policy)
- Coverage of personal property: Most homeowners policies provide 10 percent of Personal Property for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s. For example, if the contents of a policyholder’s home are insured for $100,000, a student’s property up to $10,000 could be covered if living in a dormitory – provided the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured.
- For apartments or houses off-campus, the same coverage generally applies. Renters insurance is strongly recommended if a particular policy does not cover a student’s personal property.
- Liability coverage: There is usually an exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured, so generally damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered.
- Ensuring adequate coverage: Contact us to get specific answers and information about your situation and coverage’s as these are just general guidelines.
- Renters insurance: If your student’s needs can’t be met under your current policy, don’t forget renters insurance. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the possessions of the renter.
AUTO (may vary by state)
- Coverage without a car at school: If your student will continue to drive while at home on school breaks, they should continue to be listed on your auto policy. If they are attending school more than 100 miles from home, and are not taking a vehicle with them, the policy may qualify for a distant-student discount.
- Coverage with a car at school: In most instances, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school; however, you should make sure that your insurance carrier writes coverage in the college’s state and location. A change to the principal location of the vehicle could result in a change in premium.
- Coverage discounts: In addition to the possible distant-student discount mentioned above, students may qualify for a good-student discount. Also, drivers under the age of 21 who complete a driver education course may be eligible for a policy discount.
Going away to school is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Making sure you have the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future.