If your child is going away to attend a college or university this year, you may be wondering whether or not they have or can get insurance coverage for their possessions. And the truth is that today, having insurance for your student is more important than ever. Students now use their laptops in class, take their smart phone with them where ever they go, and enjoy downtime with their personal music players.
All of these devices are not cheap to purchase. And, they can hold a lot of personal information that any thief can use to hijack your son or daughter's identity, leading to even bigger problems. Students taking part in higher education are doing so on very limited budgets which don’t allow for the purchase of new items like a laptop if they become stolen or destroyed. So how do you make sure your child is covered?
Coverage Under Your Policy
Your college or university student may already be covered under your policy if they're moving into a dorm. With protection under your policy, your child will have the same liability limits as they would if they were living in your home. But protection of their belonging may only reach ten percent of your total possessions coverage; the exact number can be determined by contacting your insurer, as these percentages can vary.
Students may not be covered if they are living off-campus in an apartment having a twelve-month lease. In this case, a renters' insurance policy is the best option. Not only is it affordable, costing from $125 to $200 per year, but the amount of coverage it provides is well worth the price. All of your child's possessions will be covered, including liability coverage of up to $300,000. In the case where your child is living in an apartment with roommates, each roommate will have to get their own renters' coverage.
In addition to full coverage and liability, most renters' policies will also provide your child with help in the event that they need to move to an alternate location temporarily following the insurable damage of their home.
Some insurance companies will cover a student' possessions when they are abroad during their studies, but not all will do this, and so asking your company about coverage limits where traveling is concerned is always a good rule of thumb to follow.
Some renters' policies will even cover damage incurred by earthquakes or floods. So for example, if your child's school was closed or destroyed as the result of a natural disaster and had to relocate to another school and neighborhood, they may be eligible for reimbursement for tuition, room and board depending on the insurance company.
If you are traveling with your child as they move into their dorm or apartment, it's a good idea to take inventory. Moving in time is the best time to make a list of your child's possessions, gather or copy receipts and get any specific information that an insurance company may need in the case of a claim. An inventory list should include the name, description and value of each item. This is an important first step before securing home owners insurance plans as you will then have a solid idea of how much coverage you need.
The most important thing to remember is that dorm rooms are not always the safest places. Therefore, your child's room should contain only items that can be replaced if an incident occurs. That means leaving family heirlooms and antiques where they belong; at your home.
Other items which may be expensive, but that your child needs, such as various electronics, can be protected with engraving. Engraving their items will also help authorities to recover these items if they are stolen.
Cash is another irreplaceable item, but one that can be notoriously difficult to recover. You can help your child to avoid theft of cash in their dorm room or apartment by getting them set up with a bank card. Having a bank card will also provide you with a record of their expenses.