It seems just like yesterday your little pumpkin was born, but now he or she is off to college. You pack up his or her belongings, drive the child off to the dorm (or apartment), drop him or her off, and breath a sigh of relief.
Will he get enough sleep? Will she get enough to eat? Will he make the football team? Will she get the grades she needs to get into law school? All of these are normal worries.
Something else you should be worrying about: is your kid (and his or her belongings) covered while he or she is at university? Now THAT is a good question. Let’s find out more about insurance for college students.
Dorm Life vs. Off-Campus Life
While Tommy or Jill is living at the dorm or off-campus in an apartment, are their belongings covered? The answer: it depends.
If your student lives in the dorms on campus and is registered as a full- or part-time college student, their belongings may be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. Typically the amount of coverage will be 10% of the contents limit on your homeowners’ insurance policy.
For example, if your contents limit if $50,000, then the limit for your student will be $5,000. Will this cover all of his belongings? If he has an expensive computer or other electronics equipment, you may want to consider increasing your contents limit at home or talking to your broker about special coverage for these items.
There may also be an age limit for this coverage, usually age 25 or 26. If you have a college student that is older than the typical college age, contact your broker.
If your student lives off-campus, even if they are registered in college, there is typically no coverage for your college student. This is true whether they live in an apartment, in a home or in a fraternity or sorority house.
The answer for off-campus students is renters insurance. This coverage is surprisingly affordable and includes liability insurance coverage. Some policies may even cover for loss of use of the rental property in the event of a claim.
The good news about auto insurance is that your insurance company will typically continue to cover your college student even if he or she doesn’t live at home. However, this coverage may end at age 25 or 26, so talk to your broker about your options.
College Without A Car: If your student doesn’t take a car to college, your rates probably won’t be affected. Since your student isn’t going to be driving, there is no exposure. However, you should leave the student on your current auto insurance policy so they have coverage when they come home.
College With A Car: If your student and his or her vehicle is on your current policy and takes the car to college, you should contact your broker ASAP. You will need to make the necessary garaging location change. Your insurance company may adjust your rates for the vehicle that is away from home to reflect the change in exposure at the garaging location.
Auto insurance rates depend on many factors, including location. If you live in a low-risk area, and your child goes to college in a high -risk area, the rates for the affected vehicle will reflect this change.
If your student plans to use his or her vehicle to make some extra money while away at school, let your broker know immediately. Using a vehicle for pizza delivery or ridesharing services may not be covered under your current policy and could void your policy.
Also, keep track of your student’s grades. Some insurance companies offer good grade discounts even for college students. Every little bit helps.
Your student may have health insurance coverage through your family plan up to age 26. Make sure your student has a copy of the insurance card and access to the provider booklet so that they do not incur any out-of-network charges.
If your student is attending college out of state, talk to your broker about whether coverage extends to that state. If not, you will need to procure separate coverage.
Many colleges and universities offer health insurance plans and include coverage for those students that participate in sports. If this is not an option for your student, talk to your broker about securing medical insurance coverage with a private plan.
We hope that your student has a great college experience!