Is Your Son or Daughter Off to College? Be Sure to Update Your Insurance Policies.
From affordable renters insurance to auto insurance discounts, learn how to maximize your protection and your savings.
If you’re sending your son or daughter off to college, insurance may be the last thing on your mind. While you can’t protect your child from every risk, you can assemble a strong safety net. Understanding what your current insurance covers and whether you’ll need to supplement with more is a good first step.
If your student will reside in a dorm room on campus, your homeowners or renters insurance will extend to cover his or her belongings up to a limit (typically 10%) of your personal property coverage, subject to your policy deductible. There may be limits on expensive items such as computers, so be sure to check your policy to see if you’ll need extra coverage for these items. Generally, it’s best to leave most valuables at home.
If your student will be living off-campus, his or her belongings may still be covered off-premises by your homeowners or renters insurance, but coverage limits are likely to be lower. Many landlords require that students living in off-campus rentals purchase their own renters insurance, which covers belongings and provides liability coverage. Be sure your renters insurance includes personal injury coverage, which, among other things, covers legal defense and settlement costs if your child is responsible for injury or damage. Renters insurance offers lots of benefits and policies are quite affordable, often less than $15 per month.
Full-time college students can usually remain covered on their parents’ auto policy if their primary address is the parents’ house, even if they attend college out of state. Make sure the policy meets the minimum auto liability requirements for that state. In most cases it’s best to keep your student’s coverage in force, even if the car is staying home, so protection is maintained during breaks and when driving or riding in other vehicles that may not be adequately insured. Keeping your student on your policy also maintains continuous insurance coverage, which can keep costs down in the long run.
Ask about the following policy adjustments that can save you money:
- Student Away Discount if your child attends school away from home, the discount is generally 15%-30%.
- Good Student Discount covers damage to your vehicle from a collision whether it is with another vehicle, or something else like a tree or pole.
- Occasional Driver Status may be an option if your student drives less than 25% of your car’s annual mileage. Definitions of occasional driver differ among insurers, but it’s worth looking into.
If your student takes a car to school, he or she should remain on your auto policy since it is usually much more expensive for young divers to purchase their own coverage. You’ll need to notify your insurer about a new garaging address, which might also save you money if your student attends college in a less expensive state.
Other Coverages to Consider
Medical Evacuation. If your student will be attending school at least 150 miles from home, consider a Medical Evacuation membership. If hospitalized while at school or otherwise away from home, this program transports your student home to your hospital of choice. Benefits include transports for COVID-19 in the U.S. and select regions.2 International plans are available for students studying or traveling abroad.
Student Travel Medical Insurance. If your student is studying or traveling internationally, you should be aware that some US health insurance does not provide coverage abroad. Student travel medical plans provide comprehensive medical coverage, access to networks of providers, and travel assistance. Most plans are designed to meet the US J1 and J2 visa travel insurance requirements.
Make insurance planning part of your son or daughter’s college preparations so you can maximize your protection, and your savings.
1Insurance Information Institute, accessed March 2021.
2Includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica—with more regions to come.
With burglaries constituting approximately 50% percent of all on-campus crimes, it’s important for college students and their parents to review their insurance coverage..1