What Insurance Options Will Your Child Need in College?
It’s time for your child (who’s not such a child anymore) to go off to college. You've probably been so busy helping them prepare for the move and the life change that you haven't had time to think about insurance—in particular, car insurance and renters insurance.
Taking a Car
If your child is taking a car to school, it’s a good idea to keep them covered under your current auto insurance policy. Let your agent know your student's address at school because their location may impact the cost of the coverage.
Not Taking a Car
If your child is not taking a car to school, it may still be a good idea to keep her on your auto policy so she's covered if she drives your car when she's home. Ask your agent if there are discounts for getting good grades or if the rates will changed based on her using the car less frequently than she used to.
Living in a Dorm
When Carol's daughter Sara was away at school as a freshman, she called Carol to say her dorm building was on fire when she got back from class. The fire turned out to be isolated to one area, and thankfully Sara's room was unharmed, but she wondered what would have happened if she lost her clothes and other valuables in the fire. Carol wasn't sure, so she called her insurance agent and found out as long as Sara was a full time student under the age of 24, Carol’s homeowners policy might have helped cover her things. Depending on the policy, in most cases, the coverage is up to 10% of a homeowner's personal property limits for items belonging to students living in a dorm. Since different insurance companies have different policies, it's always a good idea to check with yours and make any necessary adjustments.
Living Off Campus
If Sara lived off campus and a fire damaged her belongings, her situation may have been different. If she was renting, Carol’s homeowners policy might not have covered the damaged items, and the landlord's policy likely wouldn’t have either. That's why it's a good idea to talk to your agent about renters insurance. It's inexpensive and may help cover items that are lost in a fire or stolen. It may even help provide some liability protection.
Ask your agent about how much coverage your student needs in college based on their living situation and if they will have a car or not, as well as what discounts may apply. Together you can review coverage options for this stage in your student's life, and it will be one less thing you have to worry about while they are a