It's that time of year. College students are packing their belongings and heading back to school. Will your college student have enough insurance coverage at school? Has anything changed since last year that may affect personal property or auto coverage? Take some time to discuss this with your insurance agent to determine if your son or daughter has adequate coverage.
Here are important areas to cover:
- Many companies have now adopted the HO 2000 program that has some age limitations for students. Specifically, the ISO form states that for a student to qualify as an insured, he/she must be under the age of 24 and a full-time student. Many insurance companies may use this version of the form. West Bend, however, has revised it to state that full-time students under the age of 29 are still considered members of the household, and therefore, eligible for coverage.
- It's a good idea to inventory what your student will take to college. If there's an insurance claim, the burden of proof lies with the insured so a list of items would be helpful.
- Will your student take a computer to school? If so, talk to your agent about obtaining coverage for it.
- Students in dorms are covered for liability and personal property coverages under the Home and Highway policy. If your student lives off campus, however, there may not be coverage under your policy. Your insurance agent will help determine what coverage you'll need.
- When your students graduate or leave school, and declare their independence by moving into their own apartments, they should purchase their own policies covering their personal property. At this point, they are no longer members of your household, and therefore, they no longer qualify for coverage.
- Many students have a vehicle at college. It's important to contact your insurance agent so your insurance company knows this. A vehicle is rated based on how it's used and in what city it's located.
- A student who doesn't have a vehicle at college and is more than 100 miles from home will benefit if a resident student rate is applied to the policy. Does your student qualify for this discount?
- Even if a student doesn't have a vehicle at college, he/she must still be rated on the parent's auto policy because he/she is still considered covered under the policy. This is especially important if the student drives an uninsured vehicle.
It's very important that students have adequate personal property and auto coverages while they're away at school. Because every situation is different and can change from year to year, it's also important that you talk to your insurance agent about your student's current situation. After all, college should be a pleasant experience!