According to the National Center for Education Statistics, burglary accounts for 45 percent of crimes on campus. Obviously, you’ll want to do what you can to protect your child’s belongings while they’re away. Here’s what you should know so you avoid pitfalls and insurance gaps.
Homeowner’s Insurance May Offer Some Protection
Most Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance policies offer some protection for your child’s belongings, under certain conditions. Typically, they must be in full-time studies, under the age of 24, and live in a dorm. However, every insurance policy differs, so it’s important to discuss your coverage with your insurance agent.
If your policy does offer coverage, it probably limits the amount of coverage for personal property kept at another residence, which includes a dorm room. Usually, insurers calculate “property at another residence ” as a percentage of your home’s personal property limit. For instance, if your homeowner’s policy has a personal property limit of $100,000, the policy may limit “other residence coverage” to 10 percent, or $10,000.
Off Campus Living Requires Separate Coverage
If your child isn’t going to live in a dorm on campus, they will need a separate policy. Your insurance agent can recommend proper renter’s insurance to protect their belongings instead.
Renter’s insurance offers additional benefits besides protecting their belongings. Most policies include liability coverage to protect your child from the financial implications of a lawsuit if someone injures themselves in their apartment. It may also provide funds for temporary living expenses if they can’t live in their apartment due to a fire or another peril.
Do An Inventory
It’s important you assess everything your child takes with them. They may need electronics and sports equipment, but other valuable items such as jewelry is best left in a safety deposit box.
Compile a detailed inventory and discuss the coverage limits with your insurance agent too. Many policies limit coverage for computers, tablets, and smartphones, so you may need to add an endorsement to your policy. An inventory helps your agent align the coverage with your needs and can speed the claim’s process too.
Consider engraving electronics with identifying information so the police can easily identify them if stolen.
Are They Taking Their Car?
Many college students choose to leave their car at home when they live on campus. If your child is more than 150 miles away at school and does not have a vehicle with them, be sure to let your insurance agent know. There is often a discount on your auto insurance policy for a student that is covered by your policy but more than 150 miles away at school. If you’re letting your child take one of your vehicles to college, be sure to let your insurance company know where the car will primarily be kept to avoid issues with your insurance if a claim were to arise.
Insurance policies are complicated documents, so don’t leave the protection of your child’s belongings to chance. Discuss your needs with your insurance agent. They’ll close any insurance gaps so you have peace of mind while your child attends college.