Will Homeowner’s Insurance Protect your College Student?

For years and years, parents have the dream: a nice house with a home insurance plan to match, a family, and a kid that’s growing up way to fast. This fall, for many parents, the dream is over, but that’s okay. As our kids strike off into the world, eager for college life, we get the chance to relax, but not until we’re sure everything is taken care of financially.

Fall sales and rapidly progressing technology are conspiring to make each new year of college the most expensive yet, with high-dollar items like laptops, HDTVs, and tablets becoming commonplace items for the hard-working student. Many classes require this technology, but it’s hard not to feel a twinge of worry every time that $800 tablet is jostled into a backpack. It makes you wonder… Does my homeowner’s insurance policy protect my college student while they’re away at college?

The Actual Risks of Dorm Life

About 40,000 thefts occur on college campuses every year by most estimates, and some place the number of incidents even higher, so if you weren’t worried about your student’s expensive gadgets, maybe now is the time to start. Of course, why worry when you can be prepared?

In short, your home insurance policy does extend its protection to your college student for the most part. If a valuable item is damaged or stolen, your homeowner’s policy will typically cover the cost of repair or replacement as long as the student is still considered a part of your household and they’re living on-campus.

Not sure where you stand? Give us a call or click today for more information on which policies cover what. Be prepared to answer questions about what financial responsibilities have been transferred to the student and which costs the parents are still covering (if any).

Off-Campus Housing

If your student is living in a dorm or other form of on-campus housing, your home insurance policy will likely cover and damages or thefts to their electronics, but if they live in off-campus housing like a nearby apartment, the situation is very different. Chances are slim to none that your existing homeowner’s insurance policy will provide adequate coverage.

That doesn’t mean coverage isn’t available, it just goes by a different name: renter’s insurance. Similar to homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance covers the costs of repair or replacement of electronics, even when your kid isn’t on their rented property. Renter’s insurance is extremely affordable and provides a surprising amount of coverage, and many colleges actually take an active role in urging students to purchase renter’s insurance. It’s inexpensive, and it can save you and your family the financial hardship of having to replace a clumsy student’s laptop three or four times over the course of a 4-year college program.

In addition to insurance, follow these tips to make sure your student isn’t taking unnecessary risks with their belongings.

Take pictures of your belongings and their serial numbers.
Keep documentation like receipts, proof of purchase, and warranty information
Lock your valuables away and don’t share the key

Sticking to these rules will minimize the number of thefts and make the claims process much easier. Give us a call or click today for more information on how to make your student’s college career as stress-free as possible.

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Will Homeowner's Insurance Protect your College Student?
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The average college student leaves home with over $10,000 worth of personal belongings. Learn how far your home insurance can take them.
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