Before your son or daughter begins college, make sure your new student, as well as his or her belongings, are properly insured.
May is graduation season and if your son or daughter will be attending college in the fall, now’s a great time to explore the insurance implications of that new adventure – for you as well as your new grad.
Odds are good that your now-adult son or daughter knows very little about insurance. That’s where you come in.
Parents and college students should do their homework regarding auto insurance.
First, contact us to let us know where your student is going to college and whether or not he or she will be bringing a vehicle to their new school. Their existing auto policy might need to be adjusted if they’re heading out of state or taking a vehicle with them.
If your student will be driving in another state, the minimum insurance requirements for that state may differ from those in Missouri, so the policy must comply with both regions. Auto rates vary by geographic region, so the location of the college will affect what you pay.
That’s definitely something you should look into long before departure date. If your student won’t be having access to the family car while they’re at school and the college is located more than 100 miles from home, your current auto insurance policy might qualify for a discount.
If your child buys and registers his or her own car, he or she may need a separate policy that we can help arrange. You’ll also want to check to see if your existing policy (or their new one) , offers any discounts just for being a student, and look into what discounts might be available for maintaining good grades, such as a “B” average or better that might provide a little extra studying incentive.
Home and renters insurance
Another item to look into before your child goes off to school is your current home or renters insurance policy.
Many policies will provide up to a specified percentage of the family’s personal property limit for registered students. But there might be certain limitations that we could fill you in on what’s available.
Some home or renters insurance policies won’t cover a student in certain cases, such as when he or she reaches a certain age or when the student moves to off-campus housing.
In such cases, a renters insurance policy will protect your child’s personal property against damage or loss and provide liability coverage in case someone is accidentally injured or their property is accidentally damaged while on your property.
Whether coverage is through a home or renters policy, students should maintain an updated inventory of their belongings. Parents also may want to buy additional coverage, known as a rider, to repair or replace expensive items such as jewelry, electronics, and computers, that typically come with limits.
We think it’s smart to focus on insuring these four popular items that many students have at school.
Televisions: Depending on the size and model, a stolen TV could be an expensive item to replace as a student. All it takes is one “friend” to decide they either need a new TV or want to make a little extra money, and your student is suddenly out of a prized possession.
Be vigilant and protect your devices.
Bicycles: When living on campus, transportation is essential and biking is a popular way for college students to get around. Typically, you’ll see plenty of bike racks outside of campus buildings and living areas, but they’re not always completely secure.
Even on small campuses you might see someone in a hurry grab the nearest bike, even if it’s not theirs. Make sure to emphasize the importance of always locking up your bike.
Jewelry: Loss of jewelry can be devastating, whether it’s something you purchased for your student or an irreplaceable family heirloom. Consider giving him or her a safe or a jewelry box that locks so you don’t skimp on security for any priceless belonging!
Laptops: Most students will need a computer to work on assignments and group projects. So encourage your student to password protect their desktop computer or laptop and to lock their room whenever possible to prevent potential theft.