Teen is Going to College
College Student Insurance Needs
The moment’s come.The bags are unpacked, the bed is made, pictures are on the wall, and the snack-shelf is fully stacked. It’s time to say good-bye. And in your stomach, you feel an odd mixture of pride and joy, anxiety, and sentimentality. Can this bright young college student who is positively vibrating with excitement REALLY be your little one who just learned to walk?
It’s hard to let go. But as a parent, you’ve spent the last 18 years raising your child to be ready for these first steps into life in their own. And you did a great job – otherwise, they wouldn't be here. Still, you'll want to make sure they're fully protected as they sail off with their wishes, dreams and hopes.
Brooks-Waterburn Corp. can provide you with guidance on what insurance you'll need and what you won't need for this life altering event. Following are some points to consider when it comes to your college student's insurance needs:
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
You might think that if your child goes away to school and doesn’t take a car, you can drop them from your auto policy and save some extra money. But what if they come back for Christmas break and want the car to visit friends? Or are away at college and their friends ask to be a "designated driver" one evening?
If your child doesn't take a car to school we recommend that you keep them listed on the policy for a number of reasons:
They'll be fully protected if they return home for a weekend visit and want to drive.
They will have insurance protection when they're driving a friend’s car while away, and that vehicle isn’t adequately insured.
Even if they don’t take a car to school, they’ll be fully protected if they are hit by a car while walking or bicycling, or while being a passenger in somebody else’s car.
Keeping them on your auto policy maintains continuous insurance coverage, which may be beneficial when they gets their own auto insurance policy.
As a full time student, your child may qualify for a Good Student Discount if they maintain a grade average of 3.0 or higher. Make sure to let us know, and provide us with a copy of the transcript or a letter from a college advisor, the savings can be significant.
You can also apply for the Distant Student Discount if your child attends college 75 miles or more away from home.
If your student takes a car to school, they can still remain on your auto policy. In fact, they should, since it is usually much more expensive for young divers and students to have their own policy. Please be sure to notify us about the new garaging address. Not only do insurance companies prefer that, but it may also save you money, particularly if your student attends college in a less populated area of the state.
Full-time college students can usually remain covered on their parents’ auto policy if their primary address is the parents’ house, even if they attend college out of state. Make sure that the policy meets the minimum auto liability requirements for that state.
If your student owns the vehicle and holds the title, they'll need their own auto policy.
Brooks-Waterburn Corp. specializes in properly insuring your college student. We will review your situation and make sure all coverage is current and adequate.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
You've bought your child a brand new laptop and a printer as a going away present. They're going to NYU as a full time student. Will these valuable electronics be insured from theft, vandalism or a fire?
If your child continues to live in your household, they belonging are covered under your policy.
If your child stays in a dorm room on campus and you, the parents, have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance for your home, your insurance policy will extend to cover their belongings, up to a 10% limit of your personal property coverage.
That means, if your renter’s or homeowner’s policy has a limit of $200,000 for personal property, there will be coverage for up to $20,000 for your child’s belongings.Keep in mind that coverage is subject to your renter’s or homeowner’s policy deductible, usually $500 - $1,000.
Check with us to make sure the personal property limit on your homeowner’s policy is adequate. You might need additional coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, musical instruments, or certain sports equipment.
**Will your child return home or travel abroad for longer periods of time as part of their college experience? If they leave their belongings in a dorm or fraternity/sorority house for more than 45 days, your homeowners policy will longer cover those belongings. In that situation, it's important to either ship the belongings home during extended absences or temporarily store the items in a commercial storage facility.
If your college student lives in his or her own place off-campus, or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get a little trickier. You might have to set up a separate renter’s policy for your student. That will not only cover his or her ‘stuff’, but also provide liability coverage in case somebody gets hurt in their place. In addition, many landlords have made renter’s insurance a requirement of the lease. Renter’s insurance policies are usually quite affordable, generally less than $15 per month.
Depending on your child’s particular situation, there might be some other variables that need to be considered. This is where an independent insurance agency (like us!) really come in handy!
If your student is about to move into his or her own place, give us a call. We can help you navigate through the insurance-jungle and make sure you get the best value and protection for your money.
Picture yourself getting a phone call one quiet winter evening. It's your 19 year old college student son. He and some friends went on a skiing trip to a ski resort in another state. While skiing for the first time, he broke his collar bone. He needs you to tell him what to do.
Check with your health insurance provider to see if your student is still covered:
As a full time student, he may be covered up to a certain age limit.
If covered, be aware of how your coverage works in a different state:
If you have an HMO and your student's college is not within the service area, you will be covered for emergency situations. Follow up care may not be covered unless you go back to your service area.
If you have PPO and the accident is outside of the provider network, benefits will only be paid at the non-preferred level.
**If your child travels while in school, make sure you check if their health insurance coverage extends to overseas travel. It may not.
One-Stop Insurance Shopping
Having a child go off to school is a rollercoaster ride.There is so much to think about, not to mention the whirlwind of emotions. Get yourself and your student the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to your auto, homeowners and health insurance protection. When life's emergencies are dealt with by a competent pro, it's one less thing to think about.
Our team at Brooks-Waterburn Corp. specializes in family protection plans. Our family oriented agency has helped thousands of clients get prepared for the changing insurance needs of new college students and their families, while making sure they get the best protection for their insurance dollar.We know where to look for and find the discounts!
Contact us today for a free review of your and your student's insurance plan.