Is your student covered?

Sheets, CDs, lamps, towels, computer equipment, a DVR... all the homey touches and technological trappings quickly add up. That's why it's important to consider insurance coverage for college students. If your student is a dependent and will be living on campus, your homeowner's policy will likely cover their personal property. Dependents are typically covered, on average, for up to 10 percent of their parent's policy, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. There are always exceptions so check with your insurance agent to determine the specific provisions of your personal policy.

Take stock of belongings

Before your student heads to college, it's a good idea to have them take stock of their belongings. Have them estimate and itemize the dollar value of what they'll have at college. Then, encourage them to update this list annually and keep it in a safe place.

Other insurance considerations

Health insurance
  • A family health plan that is a traditional major medical policy typically covers students when they go away to college. If it's through an HMO, though, coverage may be limited to a certain geographical area. That may mean they'll only pay for your student's emergency care while at college. Check into the specifics.
  • HMO coverage that is purchased as part of a divorce settlement may provide for your student. Again, check out the details.
Auto insurance
  • A family auto policy that covers your student now will likely provide similar coverage when he is away at school in Canada, the U.S. or Puerto Rico.
  • Auto liability insurance policies may cover accidents that involve your student driving someone else's vehicle—a common, yet not necessarily recommended, practice among college students. Check into the specifics of your policy.
  • Some insurance companies offer an away-at-school premium discounts for students who don't have a car on campus. And some companies also offer 10 percent discounts to youthful drivers who maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average. See what your provider offers.

Source: "Saving Money on Your Insurance: Insurance Coverage for College Students," Texas Department of Insurance; Missouri Department of Insurance; Texas Department of Insurance; Kansas Insurance Department; National Association of Insurance Commissioners

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