Insurance Needs for College Students
The bags are unpacked, bed is made, and pictures are hung. Your stomach is in knots because as a parent you have been raising your child to become an adult and now you are leaving them in their dorm room to fend for themselves.
You still want to make sure they are fully protected as they start this new adventure called life.
R.C. Keller & Company can provide the guidance on what insurance you will need and what you won’t need for this life event. The following are some points to consider when it comes to your college student’s insurance needs:
-Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
You may think that if your student goes away to school and doesn’t take a car with them, you can drop them from your auto policy and save money. What if he is away at college and his friends ask him to be a designated driver or he comes back for Christmas break and wants to use the car to visit friends?
We recommend keeping your college student listed as a driver on your auto policy even he/she doesn’t take a car with them to school for several reasons:
- He/she will be fully protected if he/she comes home for a weekend and wants to drive.
- He/she will have insurance protection when he is driving a friend’s car while he/she is away if that car isn’t adequately insured.
- Even if he/she doesn’t take a car to school, he/she will be fully protected if he/she is hit by a car while walking or riding a bike. Or if he/she is a passenger in someone else’s car.
- Keeping him/her on your auto policy means he/she will have continuous insurance coverage, which will be beneficial when he/she gets their own auto insurance policy.
As a full-time student, your child may qualify for a Good Student Discount (usually a “B” average or higher). You should let us know and provide a copy of the grade report, because the savings could be significant.
If your child attends a college at least 100 miles away from home and does not take a car with them, we can apply the Away to School Discount.
When your child takes a car with them to college, he/she can stay on your auto policy. Your child should stay on your auto policy because it usually costs less. You should notify us of the new garage location though.
Full-time college students can stay on their parents’ auto insurance policy if their primary address is the parents’ home, even if they attend college out of state.
If your son or daughter owns a vehicle and holds the title, they will need their own auto insurance policy. R.C. Keller & Company specializes in insuring college students properly and we will review each situation to make sure that you are getting the best coverage at the best price.
Homeowner’s and Renter’s Insurance
Your son/daughter received a new laptop for graduation that they will bring with them to college. Will it be insured from theft, vandalism or a fire?
If you child continues to live in your household, his/her belongings are covered under your home or renter’s insurance policy.
If your son/daughter stays in a dorm room on campus and you, the parents, have a home or renter’s insurance policy, the policy will extend over your child’s belongings, up to 10% limit of your personal property coverage.
This means if your home or renter’s policy has a limit of $200,000 for personal property, there will be coverage for up to $20,000 for your son’s/daughter’s belongings. You should keep in mind that coverage is subject to your policy’s deductible, which is usually $500-$1,000.
Give your protection team a call to make sure your personal property limit on your homeowner’s policy is adequate. You might need some additional coverage to insure items like jewelry, musical instruments, and sports equipment.
If your child travels abroad for a semester, their belongings in a dorm room or fraternity/sorority house for more than 45 days, your homeowner’s policy will no longer cover those belongings. In this kind of case, you should either have the belongings shipped home or store them in a commercial storage facility.
If your son/daughter is living on their own off campus or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, you might want to set up a separate renter’s policy for your son/daughter. This policy will insure not only their belongings but will also provide liability coverage in case someone gets hurt at their place.
Some landlords have made renter’s insurance a requirement of the lease. This kind of policy is usually around $20 per month.
Each situation is different and that is why working with an independent insurance agent – like us – could be beneficial for you.
We can protect you and your college student, because we represent a wide variety of insurance companies, and you will have options to choose from.
Imagine yourself getting a phone call one fall evening, it is your 20-year-old college student. He and some friends were out playing some flag football and he tripped and broke his ankle. He needs you to tell him what to do.
Checking with your health insurance provider to see if your child is still covered:
- As a full-time student, he may be covered up to a certain age limit. (In the State of Illinois children can stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, under the Affordable Care Act)
- Be aware of how your health insurance coverage works in different states.
- If you have an HMO insurance plan and your child’s college is not within the service area, you will be covered for emergency situations. Follow-up care may not be covered unless you got back to your service area.
- If you have a PPO insurance plan and the accident happens outside of the provider network, benefits will only be paid at the non-preferred level.
You should also make sure your health insurance coverage extends to overseas travel if your child is going to study abroad. In some cases, coverage may not extend, and you may have to get a travel medical insurance plan. R.C. Keller & Company can help with getting that for you as well. Give us a call to discuss some of those options.
One-Stop Insurance Shop
We know having a child go off to school is a rollercoaster. There are so many things to think about, and not to mention all the emotions everyone goes through. Give yourself and your child the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to your auto, home, and health insurance protection.
R.C. Keller & Company’ team specializes in family protection plans. Our family-oriented agency has helped many clients get prepared for the changing insurance needs of new college students and their families. We not only make sure you get the absolute best protection, but we also find all the discounts you deserve.