Five Insurance Considerations When Your Child Goes Off to College
Child’s belongings in the dorm: Did you know that your HO3 homeowner’s policy covers personal property away from your residential premise? Most insurance companies view dorm rooms as a temporary residence and not a primary residence for your child. Your homeowner’s policy covers up to 10% of your contents coverage (Part C on your policy) away from the residential premise. This means that while your child is a full-time student and their belongings are in the dorm they are covered for the same named perils (causes of loss) as on your homeowner’s policy.
Taking the car out of state: If your child is taking a family car out of state, you should notify your agent. Most insurance carriers are fine with a vehicle being garaged or parked out of state as long as it is for a fulltime student listed as the primary driver. The insurance company will change the “territory” code out of state for the matching vehicle. This will help avoid a serious headache if your child is involved in an accident while at school out of state.
Renting an apartment: A rented apartment is considered a residential location for your child. Thus, topic one mentioned above would not apply and your child would have no coverage in the event of a loss, such as fire or theft. To avoid this, we suggest a renter’s insurance policy (HO4). This is a very inexpensive policy and it protects your child’s clothes, furniture, electronics, etc. There is even coverage for liability in case a guest trips and falls or sustains an injury on the premise.
Child driving a roommate’s car: This can always be a little tricky. If your child drives a roommate’s vehicle or anyone’s vehicle on an irregular basis, coverage is provided through the named insured’s policy (i.e., vehicle owner’s policy). However, if your child is driving a roommate’s vehicle on a regular basis, you want to make sure they are listed on the corresponding policy. This is because an insurance company can deny a claim based on the fact that all occasional drivers must be listed on the policy. This typically means more money, but it provides coverage in the event of an accident.
Good student discount: It pays off to study in college. If your child has a 3.0 GPA or higher they can qualify for a Good Student Discount. This is an easy way to save up to 10% on your insurance policy depending on the carrier. All you need is a copy of their most recent transcript as proof for your agent or carrier. Remember, you may need to reapply each year for all of your good students!