It’s hard to believe that the beginning of the new school year is just around the corner! The weeks leading up to dropping your child off at college are full of checklists and preparation. It’s around this time that we start getting phone calls from parents.
“My child is going away to college. What types of insurance do they need?”
To make life easier, we’ve created a list of some important insurance considerations to help keep your college student protected and give Mom & Dad some peace of mind!
You need to have insurance in place to safeguard your child’s belongings and to protect them from certain liabilities. There are two common scenarios:
- If your child lives in an on-campus dorm or university-sponsored housing, your homeowners’ insurance should automatically cover their belongings, to a certain level
- If your child is renting an “off-campus apartment”, your will need to purchase a separate renters insurance policy to protect their belongings. A renters policy covers personal belongings like laptops and TV’s as well as personal liability
IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE
College students are extremely susceptible to identity theft-related crimes. Why are they a popular target for identity thieves?
- They share personal data such as phone numbers, addresses, and their locations through social media
- They may not use effective passwords to protect their accounts
- They’re unlikely to shred personal documents, such as credit card statements and bank statements, before throwing them into the trash
While it’s important for students to learn to create effective passwords and shred documents, purchasing identity theft insurance can also be a good way to safeguard against financial loss. Identity theft protection plans typically include credit monitoring, scanning for threats, and assistance with recovery efforts. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may also include identity theft coverage or allow you to purchase a rider for fraud protection.
PERSONAL ARTICLES INSURANCE
Although most electronics items will be covered under your family’s homeowners insurance policy for students living in dorms, the coverage will be limited. If you feel your child needs additional coverage, specific items can be added through an endorsement. By purchasing specific protection for their gadgets, you can insure them against theft, damage, or loss.
Will your child be bringing a car with them to college? Some students who live off-campus need to drive to class, and others simply want to have a car as a convenience. Whatever the reason, if your child brings a car to college, they’ll need to be covered no matter how often they plan to drive.
On the other hand, your child might leave their car at home. In that case, there is a chance your auto insurance premiums could drop if your child moves more than 100 miles from home. Most importantly, your child will still be covered when they return home and drive their vehicle. In addition, your child may be eligible for a good student discount if they maintain at least a B average, so encourage your college student to keep their grades up!
Most college-aged students are covered by their parent’s health insurance policy, assuming they are 26 or younger.
- If your child is going to an out-of-state college, you should check with your insurance carrier to see if they will still have coverage and find out what doctors and providers are in-network in that area.
- Another option to consider is a school-provided health insurance plan. Look into the school’s health plan to see what is covered, what the coverage limits are, and what the deductible is.
- Also, some colleges will require that you provide proof of coverage if you want to “opt out” of their insurance plan.
Most college students and their parents aren’t thinking about life insurance. But if they have student loans, you might want to reconsider. Most private student loan companies won’t dismiss their remaining debt balance if the student were to unexpectedly pass away. That means you would be financially responsible for repaying their debt. For many parents, it’s a good idea to have enough life insurance for yourself to cover all your kids’ tuition until the youngest child has graduated.
College is one of the most exciting times in your child’s life! Let us help you transition them into adulthood. Having the proper insurance in place can help smooth out some of the bumps in the road. We know all parents want to keep their children protected and safe. Some people call it insurance. We think of it as bubble wrap!
If you’d like to discuss your policies, please reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Michael M. Silverman CLU, ChFC, CIC
President & CEO
Silver Lining Insurance Agency, Inc.