Fall is an exciting time of year for many parents and students eager to head off to college. Is your family member covered for student insurance for their car or personal property while they are away?
Moving away from home for the first time can be stressful for both parents and children. It’s one thing to know that your kids are safe and sound when they were living in your house, in a town or city with which you are probably very familiar. It’s another thing altogether when your teen moves to a different state or part of the country.
While some concern is natural, there are some things that parents can do to help relieve some of that stress.
One important step is to make sure that they have the right type and amount of insurance protection for their college bound children. By making a few quick calls and asking your insurance agent some basic questions about coverage, parents can rest a little easier knowing that there will be no surprises down the road.
Q -Is my college student’s personal property covered under my insurance?
A – Most homeowner’s policies will cover the personal property of children living on campus at no extra cost. However, coverage can be as low as 10% of the replacement value of items in your house. If the policy has $25,000 limit, then the student’s belongings would be covered only up to $2,500.
If your student plans to bring any unusually expensive items – a piece of jewelry, scientific equipment or musical instrument necessary for his/her studies – consider adding extra coverage to your existing policy by purchasing a rider equivalent to the replacement cost of the item(s).
If students choose to live off campus, they should consider renter’s insurance. Some homeowner’s insurance policies typically will not cover damage or theft from an off-campus apartment.
According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, the average cost of renter’s insurance is about $12 per month ($144 a year) for $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.
Lastly, consider adding ‘floater insurance’ to cover easily moveable, high value items such as computers, tablets, cell phones and audio equipment.
Q – What about student insurance for their car?
It’s always a good idea to contact your auto insurance provider before your child heads off to college.
Auto insurance policies and rates can change quite a bit depending on several factors, including the physical location of the school. If the college or university is in a different state from where you live, be sure to contact your agent. Keep in mind that insurance rates may increase if the college is in a highly congested urban area.
Stay in contact with your insurance agent throughout your child’s college career as discounts are often available for maintaining a “B” average or higher.
Lastly, parents of students attending colleges more than 100 miles away from home – who will NOT be bringing a car to school – may be able to save some money by adjusting their policy to reflect that the student driver will no longer be driving a vehicle you own.
If you have questions about your insurance policy, please contact us to review.