Insurance Coverage for Students
Sheets, iPods, lamps, towels, computer equipment, a DVR ... all the homey touches and technological trappings quickly add up.
That's why it's important to consider insurance coverage for college students. If your student is a dependent and will be living on campus, your homeowner's policy will likely cover his personal property. Dependents are typically covered, on average, for up to 10 percent of their parent's policy, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). There are always exceptions, so check with your insurance agent to determine the specific provisions of your personal policy.
If your student is moving into an off-campus apartment, however, he may not be covered under your policy. If that's the case, renters insurance is a good idea. Premiums average around $20 a month, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. A Broad Form policy is the most common, covering personal belongings from events such as fire, utilities-related water damage, smoke, vandalism, theft and more. A Comprehensive Form policy provides coverage for a variety of events, so premiums may be higher. Again, check with your agent to ensure that you're getting the necessary coverage.
Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing renters insurance is whether there is liability coverage, suggests the Kansas Insurance Department. This offers coverage against a claim or lawsuit when someone is injured or has their property damaged on the renter's property.
Take Stock of Belongings
Before your student heads to college, it's a good idea to have him take stock of his belongings, says the Missouri Department of Insurance. Have him estimate and itemize the dollar value of what he'll have with him at college. Then, encourage him to update this list annually and keep it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or at your house.
And when your student gets to school, he can ask about an "Operation ID"-type program, often run by the campus public safety department in conjunction with residence life. They provide an engraver so students can engrave an ID number (NOT their social security number!) on the back of major items and then keep a list on file with public safety as a precaution, in case anything is stolen.
Thinking ahead to those "what if" scenarios where students' belongings can be compromised may not feel great, yet it can help you and your student be proactive. Adequate insurance coverage not only protects property, it also adds to your peace of mind. And that can be priceless!
Sources: Missouri Department of Insurance; Texas Department of Insurance; Kansas Insurance Department; National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Other Insurance Considerations
Health Insurance — Through the school? A family health plan? Limited geographic coverage?
Auto Insurance — Coverage when driving someone else's car? Discounts for students away at school who don't have a car? Discounts for good grades?
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
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