Is your son or daughter heading off to college within a month? You have probably spent the first 18 years of their life preparing them for this big step. You’ve taught them responsibility, good study habits, money management, etc. Now they are off to school to live on their own in a dormitory or off campus housing and you think they’re well-prepared because you’ve covered all bases, right? Have you though about their insurance though?
The one issue facing college students that’s often overlooked is insurance. While your son or daughter is away at school you want to make sure that their personal belongings are properly insured. Also, l you may think they don’t need auto insurance if they don’t have a vehicle with them, but that’s not always the case. Have you thought about what would happen if they drive a friends vehicle while they are away and are involved in an accident? Here are some important points to consider regarding your student and their insurance needs while away at college.
If you own a home, your homeowners insurance policy may provide some coverage for your students belongings while away at school as long as that student is still considered a member of your household. However, don’t be so quick to think that means he or she is fully covered while away. The truth is that the coverage provided by your home insurance that I mentioned above is very limited. Most home insurance policies will provide up to 10% of your personal property limit for your belongings at another residence. Depending on your homeowners policy limits, this may not be enough coverage for your student, especially if they are residing in off-campus housing and have their own home furnishings. The limited coverage provided may not be enough. Another thing to consider would be whether or not they live in that housing year round. If so, then they may no longer be considered a “household member” and would therefore have no protection under your existing homeowners insurance. In some cases its best for college students to purchase renters insurance, especially for off-campus housing. Renters insurance offers more flexibility by allowing you to select how much personal property coverage you want to purchase and it also provides personal liability insurance as well. This protection is usually less than $200 per year and provides extra peace of mind.
Auto insurance is another concern for students away at college. Just because they will not be taking a vehicle with them to school, this does not mean they don’t need auto insurance protection. You may be thinking now that your son or daughter is living at college, you can finally remove them from your auto insurance policy. Don’t be too quick to make this move. If you’re concerned about the auto insurance cost, make sure you ask your agent if any discounts are available. Most companies offer good student discounts if your son or daughter maintains a good grade point average. They also offer discounts if your child is away at school more than 150 miles from your home. Here’s the reason why its important to keep your college student insured on your auto insurance policy… While your child is away, its not uncommon for them to borrow a friends vehicle to run an errand or to drive a carload of friends home after a night on the town using one of their friends vehicles. If they are involved in an auto accident, you may need to rely on your own auto insurance to cover the damage and/or the injuries. Unknown to them, their friend’s vehicle may be uninsured or underinsured. If that happens and your son or daughter is listed as a driver on your auto insurance policy, your policy will respond. Considering that you may not know when your son or daughter is driving another vehicle or whose vehicle it might be, this is important protection. Its important to keep your children insured on your policy until they are no longer a resident of your household at any point during the year or until they have their own vehicle and the own auto insurance policy.
If you are at all concerned about making sure your college student is properly insured, call Loiselle Insurance Agency. We are here to help and answer any questions you might have.
To all of you college bound students, we wish you luck in your academic endeavors. To all of you parents saying goodbye as your college student are moving away to school, be proud, enjoy the moment, and know that they always come back home