Insurance 101: What to Know When Your Student Goes to College

With the arrival of spring, brings graduation day for many high school students, but before they pack their bags and head off to the college of their choice, it might be time for a lesson of your own. Insurance 101: What to Know When Your Student Goes to College will help you learn everything you will need to review in your insurance policy, as well as, possible discounts you will qualify for, before your child starts their first semester in the fall.

Auto Insurance

Will your student be taking their car to campus or leaving it at home this year? If they leave it parked in your driveway, you may be able to get discount on your monthly auto premiums since they will not be using the vehicle. If they are taking their car, it is important to inform your insurance agent, as the primary location will be different. This could lower the cost if the area is less populated than your current area, but it is important to check that the vehicle will meet the state minimum required if it will be out of state.
Regardless if your student takes their car or not, it is a good idea to keep them on your insurance policy, should they ever need to drive a friend’s car or be in an accident while riding with someone. As a full-time student, they may also qualify for a Good Student Discount for maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher, even if they are not driving while at school. These savings could be significant, so it is beneficial to talk with your agent about the requirements and necessary documents you will need to provide, often a copy of the student’s transcript or a letter from the college adviser will suffice.

Homeowner’s Insurance

If your student will be staying in an on-campus dorm, you won’t have much to worry about in the way of homeowner’s coverage. They’re belongings will be covered up to a 10% limit on your coverage. For example, if your homeowner’s policy has a limit of $100,000 for personal property, they will have coverage for up to $10,000. Be aware that some policies vary, so the best way to know the coverage your student will have under your policy is to speak with your agent.

If your student is going to be living in an off-campus apartment, coverage is a different story. They would need to purchase their own renter’s policy in order to keep their belongings covered. Many landlords now require renter’s insurance, but it is typically around $15-20 per month, which will provide coverage for your student’s belongings, as well as liability coverage in the case that someone is hurt while at the apartment. If your child will be renting with friends, they will each need their own renter’s policies to protect their belongings.
It is also helpful to know that if your student will be staying in a sorority or fraternity, the items they leave in those buildings may not be covered by your policy if they remain there for 45 days, so it is a good idea to keep valuables in a storage facility or leaving them at home.

Health Insurance

While most students are covered by their parent’s health insurance until turning 26, it is important to check that coverage will extend where your student’s school is. Keep in mind that, if your child will be studying abroad, you will want to ensure that the coverage extends to overseas as well.

As your child prepares for their next step in life, be sure to do your homework and get the facts on your insurance policy, specific to your situation, first. Insurance varies, so it is crucial that you know exactly how your coverage will work while your student is away at college. The best way to get the right information is to speak with an expert who can help answer any questions you may have. To go over your current policy details and ensure your child is protected, call us at 724-929-2300 to speak with our knowledgeable insurance specialists today. They would be happy to go over your situation and answer any questions have.

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