The 5 insurance facts that all college-bound students need to know
Getting a student ready to send off to college for the first time can be a lot of work.
From student orientations, to the buying of necessary supplies, to preparing financial aid forms, parents and students face many tasks before the start of the school year.
Add insurance coverage to the pre-college to-do list.
Instead of showing up for school with a suitcase and a beat-up sofa, the modern student also bears the responsibility of bringing a laptop or tablet, or perhaps a refrigerator, television or other expensive gadgets along to school. That means as parents send off their sons and daughters off to school, it is important to make sure that they (and all of their stuff) are properly covered by insurance.
Click through the following slides for tips to help parents of college-bound students prepare to send their child to school.
Most students are already covered, but it doesn’t hurt to check
For many students living on campus, additional coverage isn’t necessary because the student should be covered under their parents’ homeowners’ policy. However, this coverage is dependent on the student still calling mom and dad’s address home.
Keeping the student’s primary residence the same as their parents’ allows most students to remain under their parents’ policies. However, agents should encourage parents to talk about their situation and needs to double check that their student is still covered.
When it’s time to buy extra coverage…
Although the student is likely covered under their parents’ homeowners’ insurance policy while away at school, additional coverage may be necessary, especially if a student is keeping valuables in their dorm room. Combine the value of these gadgets with the “open door” culture prevalent in most college dorms, it is no surprise that these items are susceptible to theft.
Students bringing expensive equipment to school may want to consider a valuable items endorsement, which can provide blanket coverage for the loss of the valuable items a student may bring along to coverage. While this coverage can add $100 to $120 a year in added cost, the policy is significantly less costly than replacing a stolen or damaged laptop.
Reviewing auto policies can lead to savings
Many colleges restrict underclassmen from bringing a car to campus, which often results in a student’s vehicle sitting in the driveway at home for the majority of the year.
If this is the case, parents should talk to their agents about any possible discounts to minimize the cost of insurance for a vehicle that is barely used.
Alternatively, if a student is taking the family car to college, agents should recommend that parents and students discuss proper protocol should a student be involved in an accident, as well as encourage routine and proper maintenance on the vehicle while away from home.
It gets a little more complex when a student moves off campus
When a student moves out of a dorm and into an off-campus apartment, the situation changes. The student is no longer covered under their parents’ policy, and instead, they need to purchase a renters’ insurance policy to cover items in their rented apartment or house. Renters’ or tenants’ policies can be relatively affordable, and a valuable items endorsement can be added, should a student need additional coverage.
Talking with an agent can bring peace of mind and necessary policy changes
Some parents may be concerned about their coverage options when sending a child to school; others may be completely unaware that they need to review their policies. Insurance agents should strive to remove any uncertainties for parents as their children leave the nest.
While it may only take a few minutes to ease a parent’s concerns or evaluate their coverage needs, it will save parents (and students) future grief should anything happen down the road.
September 2,2015 By Hannah Bender