By Laura Lewis
Consult your agent for advice on covering items your student takes to college.
Do you have a young adult heading off to college? College can be a fun time for the student but a stressful one for the parent. Reduce some of the stress by planning ahead to make sure your college student has appropriate insurance protection while away at school.
Insurance companies cover full-time students under age 25 in various ways. You’ll want to consult your agent with questions about your specific policy and situation.
There are three basic ways a student may have coverage:
As a percentage of the personal property limit on the parents’ homeowner policy. Many insurance companies consider campus housing a secondary residence for the student and may cover your student’s possessions as a percentage of the personal property limit on your homeowner policy – personal property means items you can remove from your home or premises. For example, if you have $75,000 in personal property coverage, your student may have 10 percent of that, or up to $7,500, in coverage for belongings taken to school. Liability coverage – which insures legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others – may not be included.
As part of the personal property limit included in the parents’ homeowner policy. Some insurance companies offer broader coverage through their homeowner policies. These companies allow the parents’ personal property limit to include the student’s belongings and liability without defining a percentage. For example, if you have $75,000 in personal property coverage on your homeowner policy, this includes items you have in your home as well as those that your student takes to school, and liability coverage is automatically included.
Under a separate renter’s insurance policy in the student’s name. Some insurance companies contend that being away at school for nine months of the year is long enough to require a separate renter’s policy to cover belongings and liability. Liability insurance is usually included in a renter’s policy. Keep in mind that a renter’s policy in the student’s name may be the more expensive option. In most situations, each roommate needs a separate insurance policy.
As you prepare to send your child to school this fall, remember to ask your independent insurance agent to review your policy so that you and your student can make the transition to college as stress-free as possible.