BY: Janice Beighey, Tower Insurance

Welcome Fall and back to school! As our kids return to the classroom and some even move out, there can be a long list of things to worry about books, computers and dorm supplies. If your child is moving into a dorm accidents or thefts may still occur and having the right insurance coverage can help ease your mind,

“Most college students don’t think about protecting their belongings with insurance because, until this point, they’ve lived under their parents’ safety net,” said Chris O’Rourke, Vice President of Property Claims for Mercury Insurance. “Parents have a million other things running through their heads when their kids leave for college, like whether they’ll go to all of their classes, keep up with their assignments and act responsibly given their new-found freedom. Talking to their children about insurance needs isn’t necessarily at the top of the list.” Replacing property – like a stolen or damaged laptop – can be vital, but the expenses can add up very quickly.

What questions should I ask my insurance agent about insurance and college students?

How does my homeowners insurance cover my college student’s stuff at college?

Most homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for college students away at school; however this is a great opportunity to speak to your agent about the coverages your carrier may offer such as personal property or liability being extended to another location.  Check with your insurance company for specific information on how coverage is handled for college students or whether you might need to purchase additional insurance coverage.

What part of a homeowners insurance coverage extends to a college student? What is the personal property coverage for my students’ belongings while away at school?

  • Personal liability. The personal liability coverage on your policy may help if a guest is injured in your son’s or daughter’s dorm room or if your child accidentally damages school property.
  • Personal property coverage. Typically, your homeowners insurance covers your student’s personal property inside your student’s residence.
  • Renters Insurance. If they are living off campus and renting a house or an apartment, they’ll need renters insurance. Renters insurance covers their possessions from theft, fire, vandalism, and other damage.

Is the liability limit for an accident in my child’s dorm room the same as if one happened in my home? 

If it’s not, or if you don’t feel it’s enough, you might want to consider a personal umbrella policy.

What if my student is taking their car to college? 

Let your auto insurance company know that your student is going away to college, even if they are not taking a car with them. Be sure to ask why it is important to continue to insure your student when they are away at school. Many insurance carriers have a “good student” discount for good grades and “students away at school”.

These are some tips and questions to get you started with your insurance agent. Find the best solution for your situation. As your searching for the twin xl sheets and making sure your student has everything they need to walk into their dorm, a little insurance planning will pay off and give you some reassurance with your student away at school.