college students

Going off to college is stressful for students as well as parents. Your child is focused on academics and adjusting to college life, but insurance coverage is another important topic to discuss as a family.

Does Your Child Need Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance typically covers personal property, liability, medical expenses, and alternative accommodations if a policyholder’s residence is uninhabitable. Your existing homeowners or renters insurance coverage may extend to your child if he or she lives in a college dorm, but it will most likely only cover personal property.

Policies usually limit coverage for property located off-premises to a portion of the total available coverage. If your child has expensive electronics, musical instruments, or other belongings, you may be able to add a separate schedule to your policy to cover those items. You might have to notify your insurance company to have your child covered at college, or the coverage might extend automatically.

Your child won’t be covered by your policy if he or she lives off-campus. In that case, your child can purchase a separate renters insurance policy that will cover personal property, liability, and alternative accommodations. With an individual renters insurance policy, your child’s personal property will only be covered if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. Liability coverage will apply if your child is found legally responsible for injuries to another person or accidentally damages the landlord’s property.

Auto Insurance Coverage for College Students

If your child plans to take a vehicle to college, if your child will be living at home and commuting to college, or if your child will live at college but plans to come home frequently and use a family vehicle, you should keep him or her on your auto insurance policy. You may qualify for a good student discount or a distant student discount that could save you hundreds of dollars per year. Keeping your child on your policy can also establish a record of uninterrupted insurance coverage, which can help your child obtain an individual policy later.

If your child plans to live on campus, doesn’t plan to take a car, and won’t return home and drive a car often, it may be better to remove your child from the policy, if your insurance company will allow it. That could significantly reduce your rates. Just be sure to contact the company and put your child’s name back on the policy before he or she comes home on breaks and wants to use the car.

Do You Have the Right Insurance Coverage?

Insurance coverage for college students is important, but it can be complicated. If you have existing coverage and have questions, contact your insurance company or agent. If you need a new policy, or if you would like to shop around for better rates, contact Petruzelo Insurance. We can help you compare coverage and premiums from several leading companies.