Your college kid has a lot to think about when going to college, especially in the crazy pandemic environment. From buying textbooks to selecting classes to secure accommodations to staying healthy, the list is long. As a parent, you have much to think about, too – worrying about how to pay for school, the health and safety of your child while they are away, and how they will take to college life.
With all the hustle and bustle of the start of college, making sure your child has adequate insurance coverage often falls to the bottom of the list. However, it is an important consideration that will help protect your college student and pocket as the new school year begins. Here are some things you should consider.
Your child’s belongings
If your kid went away and is living on campus, they probably took many things with them. Adding up textbooks, expensive technology, and more, they may have hundreds of dollars worth of items with them at school. If this is the case, you must protect these items if they are damaged or stolen during the year. Many homeowners insurance policies will cover items belongings to students while away from the primary residence and living in on-campus student housing, but be aware, many other policies will not.
If your home insurance policy does cover items away from home, be sure to review the extent of this coverage. Some may limit this extension of coverage to a maximum of 10% of your property limit. For example, let’s say that you have $250,000 of personal property coverage – that means that only $25,000 would be available to your child while away at college. We’ll be glad to talk with you about what is and is not covered by your policy so that you can make alterations if necessary.
If your child lives off-campus, a renters insurance policy is needed to cover their belongings and supply them with liability coverage. If your child is renting with other students, each renter should have their policy. The liability coverage will step in to help if anyone is injured or their property gets damaged while visiting your child. It will also step in to help if your studying student is a victim of theft or loses items due to a covered peril, such as a fire.
Your child’s driving
What will your child do about their car? If they take their car to college, you should let your insurance agent know as soon as possible. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and is listed on your auto insurance policy, it will be covered in an accident. However, you must notify the insurance agent when it is being garaged elsewhere. If you do not do this, you are at risk of having your claim denied.
If your child left the vehicle at home, you may wonder if you should remove your child from the policy because they are away. We recommend you do not because they may want to use the car when they come home over the holidays. Without insurance, they are unable to drive. It could be worth keeping them on your insurance policy to protect them when they want to drive and, at the same time, allow them to build up a solid history of auto insurance.
In a related scenario, if your child decides to drive a friend’s car while away at college, they could be covered as long as they are still listed as a driver on your auto insurance, even if they aren’t regularly using your vehicle. The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage, and your policy could be secondary.
Your child’s life
>Most private student loan companies won’t be writing off their outstanding balances at the sudden, unfortunate demise of your student. Therefore, it is prudent to have adequate life insurance coverage to protect yourself from being financially responsible under such circumstances. You can opt for a term life policy that covers your child’s tuition fees and provides you the financial support needed to pay off the debt in case they pass away. Ideally, the policy should cover all your kids’ education until the youngest one has graduated.