Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.
Protecting Your Student’s Belongings
It is crucial that you contact your agent about the rules and limitations of your coverage when it comes to your son or daughter’s dorm room. Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has lots of expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.
If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners’ policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says ranges from $15 to $30 per month. Renter’s Insurance will cover possessions in the student’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.
Changing Auto Coverage
If your son or daughter moves more than 100 miles away from home to attend school and does not keep a vehicle there, your car insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. Inform your agent, and you could save money while still maintaining coverage for your child when he or she is home for vacation.
Keeping Your Child Healthy While On Campus
Many students can stay on their parents’ health plans during college, but usually they must be full-time students, taking 12 hours or more in a semester. However, these restrictions vary greatly by state, and coverage could become even more complicated if your child is attending an out-of-state school.
For example, if you have a managed care plan, you probably have geographical limits and should consider whether your child will be able to access an in-network health care provider nearby. Your student also may not be covered if injured while playing intercollegiate athletics, so be sure to check your policy and the school’s policy on coverage for athletes.
If you find your child does not have coverage under your plan for any reason, you have a few options. Most universities have their own health plans, but some policies have high deductibles and low coverage maximums. A few do not offer any coverage for any conditions present before entering the university, so purchase carefully. Otherwise, you may consider an individual policy for your student.