In just a couple of months, your freshly minted high school graduate will be off to college. If your student will be living away from home for college, it is time to start thinking about what insurance coverage they have, and what they will need.
For the college student to be covered under your homeowner’s policy the student must be a relative of yours that was a resident of your home before leaving for college, under the age of 26, and enrolled in the college or university full-time.
Property Insurance for College Students
If you have homeowners insurance coverage, you may already have property insurance for your college student. However, there may be limitations to that coverage.
Most homeowners policies extend coverage to insured property outside the home whether it is in storage or at a college dorm. The limit of this coverage is usually a designated percentage of the covered property, usually around 10%.
For example, you have $150,000 in contents coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy. 10% of that may be designated for off-premises, so your college student would have $15,000 in contents coverage in their college dorm.
It’s important to discuss with your insurance broker just how much offsite coverage your policy extends. Then you and your insurance broker need to determine whether that amount is enough to cover all of your student’s belongings including clothing, linens, computers, gaming equipment, etc.
Please note that the coverage may extend to the student’s belongings while in the college dorms but it may not cover your student’s belongings if they live in a sorority or fraternity house or in an off-campus apartment. These are things to discuss with your insurance broker.
Liability Insurance for College Students
Your student may also be covered under your homeowner’s liability insurance. This would cover your student for personal liability in the event that a guest is injured in his or her dorm room, or if your student accidentally damages school property.
Like with property insurance, liability insurance coverage is only extended to your student if he or she lives in on-campus student housing. Off-campus housing requires a different type of insurance coverage.
For those students who attend college, whether locally or in another state, homeowners insurance only offers coverage if they live in the dorms. For those students who choose to live in off-campus housing, whether it is a house or an apartment, renters insurance is the way to go.
Renters insurance offers property insurance coverage for your student’s belongings, as well as liability insurance for their off-campus living quarters. Personal liability insurance also extends to the student while away from their house or apartment.
The good news is that renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and can be tailored to the limits of coverage needed for the student. Plus, your homeowner’s insurance coverage won’t take a hit should your student need to file a claim.
And in case you’re wondering? Yes, you can purchase a renters insurance policy for your student even if they live in on-campus housing.
Auto Insurance for College Students
Because insurance for younger drivers is more expensive, it may be beneficial for your college student to leave him or her on your family auto insurance policy. As long as the student is under the age of 26, the auto insurance coverage will extend to the driver while away at college.
If your student will be attending college without a car, it is still a good idea to leave the driver on your policy. When your student is home from college for holidays or the summer, he or she will still be covered while driving a family vehicle.
If your student will be attending college with a vehicle, be sure to update the garaging location with your insurance broker. You will also want to let your broker know if your college student plans to deliver pizzas or drive for a ridesharing service as these could affect your rates and coverage.
There are many other insurance factors to consider, including medical/health insurance, life insurance, flood insurance and more. Talk to your Hayes Broker today before your son or daughter heads off to school in the fall.