(Now what do I need to be worried about?)
After 18 or so years, elementary school, high school, and all of the activities that go along with their young lives, your child has graduated from High School and will be heading off to a College or Tech School this fall on the first step to making their future career goals a reality.
What do you need to know from an insurance standpoint to protect you and your child when they leave home this fall? Every situation is different but here are some top-line considerations for you and your student.
Will my student need Renters Insurance?
If your college student is living in a dorm, they’re probably still protected under your home insurance policy. Of course, everyone’s individual insurance is different, but the general rule of thumb is that if they’re a full-time student who lived in your house before they left for school, they’re covered while they’re at school – at no extra cost to you. Many policies also cover a student’s possessions if they are in off-campus housing but some landlords may require a Certificate of Insurance showing that your student has their own insurance policy, listing the landlord as a Loss Payee or Other Insured on the Policy.
More than likely, this coverage consists of:
Standard home insurance protects your immediate family’s personal property, wherever it may be (including college campuses). That means if your child’s laptop is stolen, their bicycle is vandalized, or their textbooks are destroyed in a fire, the coverage you already have could help pay to replace those possessions.
- It is a good idea to review your current coverage to make sure that you have everything you need for your new family dynamic.
If another student got injured in your child’s dorm room, or your child damaged school property, your home insurance could help pay for legal defense or property damages.
If another student is badly injured in your child’s dorm room, or due to your child’s activities, your home insurance could also help pay for their hospital bills.
What about off campus housing?
Many policies also cover a student’s possessions if they are in off-campus housing but some landlords may require a Certificate of Insurance showing that your student has their own insurance policy, listing the landlord as a “Loss Payee” or “Other Insured” on the Policy.
Is there any benefit to having my student on their own Insurance Policy?
Having a separate Insurance policy for your student can actually insulate you from some of the Liability if certain situations arise or accidents happen.
In addition, a property Claim would go against your child’s policy rather than your own.
- Let’s say that someone takes some of your daughter’s possessions from her dorm room. Depending on the value of the items taken, you may decide to file a claim with your insurance company for the loss – do you want this claim on your Homeowners Policy affecting your rates or would you prefer to have your daughter claim it on her own policy?
- Another Consideration – The deductible on a Renters Policy is usually lower than that on your Homeowner’s Insurance
Standard Renters Insurance Policies can usually be purchased for less than $10/month depending on the amount of coverage that you are looking for. Having your student start a renters insurance policy in their own name now can actually save them money on their insurance coverage in the future.
What about Car Insurance – Should I leave my child on my policy while they are away at school?
If your student will be taking one of your cars to school – by all means, keep them on the policy.
- You do have options including getting them their own auto policy, however this is likely to be much more expensive than leaving them on your policy. If your child has proven to be a safe and trustworthy driver, you may want to keep them on your policy as long as you are financially responsible for them.
- You will also want to let us know where the vehicle will now be parked. Some companies will keep the car rated under the primary residence address – Some will re-rate for the new zip code that they are moving to.
If your student will not be taking one of your cars to school with them, many insurance companies have an “Away at School” discount. Most companies require that the school be at least 100 miles away from your primary residence – but some have lower limits. This discount takes into account that your student will most likely be coming home for the major holidays and summer break but staying at school (and not driving your car) for 8 months out of the year. The discount re-rates the policy for the time the student is away at school but still protects you when they come back home to visit at Christmas. This discount along with the Good Student Discount can save you a lot of money – so make sure that your student still maintains at least a “B” average while in school.
To discuss your particular situation, reach out to one of our agents today and we will make sure that you have all of the answers before they even take their 1st class…