It’s that time of year again: back-to-school! Are you sending a child off to college? If so, don’t forget to review your insurance coverage before they go back to campus. Remember, your insurance needs change as you and your family members reach certain life milestones. Plus, college is expensive enough without incurring unexpected expenses of an accident uncovered by your current policies.
Is your child staying on your health insurance policy? If so, he/she is covered until they turn 26. If your child is going to school out of state, check with your insurance company to see how their out-of-state coverage works and ensure that there are in-network providers near the college. If not covered by their parent’s policy, college students have other health care options, such as enrolling in the student health plan offered or purchasing an individual policy.
Is your child taking a car to campus? Be sure they are covered on your policy or have an individual policy that provides enough coverage. If they are going to college out of state, make sure they at least have the minimum coverage required by that state. Even if your child isn’t taking a car to school, it’s smart for them to remain insured so they are protected when driving a borrowed car.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
Unfortunately, theft and burglary are very common on college campuses. Whether your child is living in a dorm, apartment or house, you will want to protect their valuables. Students who live on-campus are usually covered by their parent’s homeowners insurance policy as long as they are listed as a dependent on their policy. However, the extent of coverage depends on policy specifics and limitations, so it’s a good idea to check your policy before relying on it.
Students who live off-campus should obtain a renters insurance policy to protect their valuables and their bank accounts in the case of unfortunate situations, such as fire, theft or on-premise injuries. While renters insurance does NOT cover the building itself, it does cover the stuff in your rented house/apartment, like furniture, valuables and cash. A renters insurance policy can also cover liabilities and additional living expenses, if needed. Renters insurance is fairly affordable, but it’s important to understand the coverage and limitations of your policy.
All in all, it’s best to inform your insurance agent that you have a child going to college and discuss the additional coverage he/she needs depending on your current policies.