Kids off to College? Insurance Tips for Back to School

Most college students these days move away from home with more than just their clothes unceremoniously stuffed into bags. They leave with cars, laptops, MP3 players, smart phones, TVs, gaming counsels and more. These electronic devices are often very valuable and costly to replace.

If your son or daughter plans on taking the car with them to college, be sure to notify your insurance company of the change in address for the car and driver. Keep in mind that if the College Town is larger than Home Town, has high crime and the car won’t be stored in a garage, your premiums can significantly increase. If the car will be staying put, you may consider removing them from your policy or changing their status to “occasional driver” if they intend on coming home between semesters. If you will continue covering them under your policy, encourage them to earn stellar grades, which will earn you discounts on your premium.

Most standard homeowner insurance policies will cover the personal property your college-bound child takes with them to the dorms. Coverage is usually capped at 10 percent of your personal property coverage. For example, say your policy covers $100,000 in contents, which means your student’s coverage will be $10,000. Many schools offer insurance policies on devices such as laptops purchased from the school. This may be redundant if your child’s belongings are already covered under your homeowner policy.

For students planning on renting off-campus, it is important that they secure their own renters insurance policy. This type of insurance is incredibly affordable. At around $200 a year, they can have peace of mind that their property can be replaced in the case of a break-in, fire or other covered event. Remember, if they will be renting a house with several roommates, each person needs their own separate policy.

As you make these changes to your policies, it is as good time to compare your current coverage to other options. Our agents are always available to answer any questions you may have, suggest coverage options, and assist you in comparing quotes and policies from a variety of insurance companies. We are adept in identifying your insurance needs and finding all of the available student discounts, enabling you to choose a policy that meets your needs and budget. Contact us to help make this transition a little easier, and less expensive.