Congratulations—your child is going off to college! While you’re packing up your student’s belongings and offering last minute advice, take a few minutes to think about how this new adventure affects your own and your college student’s insurance needs.
Car Insurance for your College Student
Is your child taking a car to school? If you’re supporting your student financially, he or she should be covered under your existing family car insurance policy. You will want to notify your L & M Insurance Group agent (give us a call at 813-672-4100), especially if the school is outside of Florida.
If your child is not taking a vehicle to school, you should still tell your agent—you may be eligible for a premium discount, especially if your child’s college is 100 miles or more from home. Also remember that you may be eligible for Good Student discount if your child maintains a certain grade point average, usually a B average or above, whether or not he or she takes a vehicle to school.
Protecting Personal Property of College Students
Another concern for parents of college students is protecting their child’s personal property. About half of all campus crimes involve burglary. While college students need items such as laptop computers, tablets, smart phones, and so on, if at all possible they should leave home any non-essential and expensive items such as electronics, or luxury watches and jewelry.
If your child lives in an on-campus dorm, his or her personal belongings are covered under your homeowners insurance policy, up to certain limits (check your insurance policy or ask your agent, and remember that your deductible still applies).
However, if your student lives off campus, he or she is not covered by your policy, and should buy a renters insurance policy. These policies are affordable, and also offer liability protection as well coverage for personal property.
Make a detailed inventory of what your student takes to school, and update it every year. Include copies of receipts and photos. This will help you get a claim paid faster in the event of a theft.
Remind your student to take common sense precautions, including locking dorm rooms and keeping personal items like backpacks, purses, and laptops with them instead of unattended in the library, cafeteria, or common areas.
If you don’t already have one, you might consider adding a personal injury endorsement to your homeowners policy. This could come in handy if your student is sued for posting something negative on social media!
If you have any questions about what is or is not covered, please give your L & M Insurance Group agent a call.
What about Health Insurance?
Depending on your health insurance policy, your college student may be covered under your policy. If he or she is going away to school, make sure there are in-network doctors and hospitals available in the new area. You’ll pay more for out-of-network medical services, or there may be no out-of-network coverage except for emergencies.
If there are no in-network providers in your college student’s area, most colleges offer student health plans that may be just what you need.
Other Insurance Concerns
If your income is paying for your child’s college education, do you have enough life insurance coverage in place to complete it if something were to happen to you? In general, you’ll want enough to cover expenses until your youngest child finishes school.
What about an umbrella policy? Umbrella policies cover all household members even when they’re away at school. This provides additional liability protection for both your college student and you as their parent.
When you wave goodbye to your budding young adult, rest easy knowing your insurance safety net will continue to protect you all. Please give us a call at 813-672-4100 if you have any questions about your insurance needs, limits, or what your policy covers. You may also contact us online by clicking here.
We’re here to help!