Got a College Student? Here Are Some Tips to Keep Your Child Protected in College

It’s scary how much college tuition has risen in recent years. However, as bad as the cost of college is these days, you might find yourself paying even more if an unexpected accident or theft isn’t covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away in the fall, here are some tips and general information to help you get the most from your insurance coverage and keep your child protected in college. (And, if you know somebody who has a child about to go to college, be sure to share this information with them!)

HOMEOWNERS (varies by state)

  • Personal Property Coverage: Most homeowners policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your student is living at school. (This means that a $100,000 policy will give you $10,000 in coverage). However, not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, require special coverage. Additionally, renters insurance is strongly encouraged.
  • Liability Coverage: General damage to a dorm room or apartment usually isn’t covered. (Sorry, if they make a mess, they’re going to have to clean it up themselves!)
  • Documentation: It’s a good idea to create an inventory of the items your child is taking to school. To be really thorough, however, you’ll want to take photographs and keep receipts. These will make it a lot easier to process your claim. After all, a photo can save you a thousand words on the phone!

AUTO (varies by state)

  • Is your student’s car staying at home? Many schools have restrictions when it comes to which students can park where. Additionally, depending on the area, your student might not need to do much driving at all. However, even if they’re not taking a car with them, you’ll want to keep your child’s name on your auto policy if they’re planning on driving the car when they return home during school breaks.
  • Is the car going with them? Make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered.
  • Will they be driving a friend’s car? Students are usually covered if they’re listed on their parents’ policy and aren’t using the friend’s vehicle on a regular basis. However, this coverage would be secondary.  The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage (meaning that whatever the friend’s insurance doesn’t cover would then fall under your insurance).
  • Student discounts: A full-time student that is meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

Before your child leaves for school, be sure to give us a call at (203) 775-2564. We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage.

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