So you have a child going off to college. Well there’s a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to insurance and a child going off to college.
Let’s start with the auto insurance. There are several different things to keep in mind. Is your child going to be taking a vehicle with them to school? If they are, you’re going to want to make sure their coverage is on the vehicle, and that a driver is listed on that vehicle as well. Talk to your agent about that, they can help you select the appropriate coverages.
There’s also kind of an in between coverage here. If your child is going away to school, but they’re still permanent resident of your household, many companies offer what’s known as “Student away Coverage.” This covers your child when they are away at school but they did not take a car with them.
So when they come home they can use a vehicle. Or if they happen to borrow someone’s vehicle and have an accident, they’re still listed as a driver on your policy. But, since they are no longer at your household on a regular daily basis, the insurance companies give a reduced premium or a lower rate for that child. And it’s called the student away rating. Usually if they’re not living at home, but they’re going to school and do not have a vehicle with them. Talk to your agent about that. It’s a great way to save some additional money on your auto payments.
The third way to do it, is if the student moves away permanently. They no longer call your home their home. They changed their drivers license, and they permanently have moved from the residence. If they have permanently from the residence, you may be able to remove them completely from your policy and save a lot of money by not having that youthful driver on your policy anymore. Again, talk to your agent about that.
Now let’s talk about their property coverage. So they move away, they’re living either in a dorm or a place off campus. Do you need to have a renters policy for them? Well, if they’re still considered a resident of your household, that is they still live in your place permanently in the summer or they come home on their breaks, they’re considered a resident and they have coverage.
Usually most policies offer a 10 percent of your personal property coverage that’ll extend to off premises. That could extend to your child’s dorm room or place off campus. And usually that’s sufficient unless your child has some real expensive furnishings or items that they bought with them to school. So they typically do not need a renters policy.
However, if they permanently leave your household, and they’re permanently on their own, then they’re probably going to need to get that renters insurance coverage. And it’s going to cover all their personal property as well as liability protection, and loss of use. So if their place burns down and they need to go somewhere else temporarily, the renters insurance provides it. See our video on renters insurance, it gives you a little more information about that as well.
So a couple things to keep in mind on the auto section and on covering their items; there’s a few things about like laptops and cell phones, typically we don’t add those to policies. However, those tend to get stolen. Tell your child to keep a close eye on those and back up those files on the computer as well. Because those are the highest debt losses that we see for students, is the laptops in particular. And tell them to be careful because breakage is not covered under the homeowners policy typically as well.
I’m Ron Philleo with Philleo Agency Insurance. If you have questions about your student going away to college or any other insurance questions, feel free to contact us.