Home Auto Insurance Coverage For Kids Headed to College

24 Aug
Home and Auto Insurance Coverage for College Students

Make sure your child is fully insured while they are studying at college.

It’s back-to-school time and if your child is headed off to college there are numerous things you will have to do to make sure they have a great college experience. One of those things is making sure they are fully insured while they are studying at college.

Making sure your child is properly insured not only protects them but can also protect your assets as well. Depending on your particular situation the necessary insurance coverages will vary. Let’s look at a few common situations and see what type of insurance coverage is best:

Car Insurance

Unless your child has zero access to a car they will still need some type of car insurance to be fully protected:

  • Child Not Taking a Car to School

If your college student is headed out of state, or at least 100 miles from home, and not taking a car ask your insurer for a discount. Leave your child on your policy for when they come home for break or if they borrow a friend’s car at school. Most insurers will offer a discount if your kid doesn’t have regular access to a car.

  • Child Taking Car to School

If possible, have your kid leave the car at home but if it’s a necessity be sure to notify your insurer where the car will located. It’s possible that you will end up paying more for coverage if the college is located in a more crime friendly neighborhood. It could also go down depending on location factors.

If your student is carrying a B average or above, ask for a good student discount as well. Grade requirements vary as do the discount amount but expect to save 5 to 10 percent.

  • Child Living at Home and Driving Your Car

If your child is headed to a local college and still driving your car on a regular basis, they must be on your insurance policy. This can be an expensive option as young drivers, especially males, are considered high-risk drivers, which translates into a big premium.

  • Child Has Own Car

If your kid saved up and bought their own car, they need to be moved off of your policy and onto their own car insurance policy. This will drop your premium dramatically but your child may have a pretty hefty insurance bill to cover.

Homeowners or renters insurance

Protecting your student’s possessions is just as important as making sure they have car insurance. Your options and the recommended coverages will depend on whether they are living in a dorm or an off-campus apartment. Liability can also be an issue so it pays to check your current policies.

Living in a Dorm

In most cases, your child’s stuff is protected under your homeowners insurance policy if they are living in a dorm. It is a good idea to verify this with your insurance company or agent. In some cases, your policy may put a dollar limit on coverage for possessions that are located away from your main residence. There may also be a limit on high value items such as computers, TVs, and even jewelry. In this case you may need a high value rider.

Living Off Campus

If your student is living in an off-campus apartment they will need their own renters insurance policy. Renters insurance is very affordable and will cover their belongings as well as providing a bit of liability insurance in the event someone is injured in their apartment.

Liability Coverage

Carrying the proper amount of liability coverage is also important. If someone is injured by your child and decides to sue, you can be on the hook for damages. Make sure your homeowner policy has a healthy amount of liability coverage or consider purchasing an umbrella policy. These policies are very affordable and will up your liability protection dramatically.

Verify your liability coverage also includes personal injury coverage, which would cover the cost of a legal defense and any settlement costs if your child was sued for making objectionable comments or posts on a social media site.

Health insurance

This is an absolute necessity to make sure your student is safe in the event they become ill or injured. Children can now stay on their parents health insurance until they are 26 so if possible leave them on your policy. Verify that your health plan includes providers where your student will be attending school.

If the area where the school is located is out of your network make sure you understand what your costs will be if your child is seriously injured or ill. It is possible that in some cases you will have no coverage out of network.

If your insurance doesn’t cover them at all, check with the college in regards to their student health plan. These policies tend to offer fairly comprehensive coverage but may include limitations or coverage caps so makes sure you fully understand the coverage and any limitations.

If none of these are an option, it’s possible to shop for a policy in the government run health insurance marketplace or the private marketplace. In most cases, students can sign up outside of the annual enrollment period. As with all health insurance policies, be sure to have a complete understanding of any and all limitations or coverage caps. Health costs can quickly spiral out of control so it is key you understand your financial responsibilities with any policy.

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