Whether your son or daughter is just beginning their college career or returning to campus life, there’s a lot to think about.
While insurance is not usually an item found on your college’s what-to-pack list, though it should be. Many college students are living independently for the first time in their lives, so there’s a lot you might not know about protecting your college student and his valuables.
Here’s a quick list of the most important types of insurance your child might need when away at college.
1. Renters Insurance Coverage
College students are no stranger to theft. Theft happens on college campuses all around the United States, which is why students need to obtain renters insurance. If you are a student and are bringing with your personal property worth a lot of money, you need to protect your personal belongings from thieves on the prowl to break in and steal them from you. Good news is that your current homeowners insurance coverage or renters insurance coverage will cover their personal belongings if they are living on a college campus.
If your child is living in an apartment off campus, they will need to obtain a separate renters’ insurance coverage from you. The renters insurance coverage covers personal belongings such as jewelry, laptops, and other electronic devices. A standalone renters insurance coverage will cover these expensive items. You can contact your insurance company to determine the amount of coverage you require. College-going kids should also leave their valuable personal belongings at home or place them in a safety deposit box. They should also list all the personal belongings they own before coming to college.
2. Auto Insurance Coverage
If your child has a car that they park on campus, you need to ensure it is properly insured. Insurance companies may charge students a higher premium rate if it is parked in a location where the probability of becoming a target of car thieves is high.
Your insurance company will inform you the amount of auto coverage a student requires if they are taking their car to college. Should you drop your child off your auto insurance coverage if they will not be driving a car to college? No, you should not drop your child off your auto insurance coverage even if they will not be taking a car with them to college.
You should also be aware of the factors that affect auto insurance rates for college students. Apart from your child’s age, grades, and gender, there are other factors involved that affect the auto insurance rates for college students.
They include location, the type of car they drive, the number of miles driven by them, their driving record and credit card history. For instance, auto insurance rates are higher in New Jersey and New York in comparison to Connecticut, Idaho, and Maine. However, students may be eligible for a discount if they live within three miles from their school or place of work.
The type of car they drive is another factor.
Students should not bring their sports car to college if they want their insurance company to give them a lower insurance rate. Instead, they should bring a larger car, as it is made from steel, is easy to repair, and has parts that are easy to replace. The next factor is their credit card history. They will examine the student’s credit card history to predict the likelihood of them getting into a car accident. Students with a poor credit card rating may have higher insurance premiums.
The other two factors include the amount of driving the student does and their driving record. Students who do not drive their car a lot may qualify for lower insurance premiums. However, students will need to prove to insurance companies that they will be driving their car less.
Lastly, their driving record also comes into play. Students with driving records depicting speeding tickets or traffic violations will receive the label of a high-risk policyholder, thus resulting in higher insurance premiums. In short, it is better for students to stay on their parents’ auto insurance coverage if they are under 25, go to a college that is within 100 miles from home, and attend college more than 100 miles from home, but drive their car only when they are home.
3. Personal Liability Insurance Coverage
One of the most important insurance coverage a student can obtain is personal liability insurance coverage. For instance, your child is living off campus in a rented apartment. In that case, they need to obtain personal liability insurance coverage if a person injures themselves while at their place.
Another example of this is them hosting a party with a friend at their place and one of them injures themselves accidentally. They can file a lawsuit against you, asking for compensation from you for medical expenses and emotional trauma. If you have personal liability coverage, your insurance company will cover the costs, saving you from paying out of your own pocket.
4. Health Insurance Coverage
When children live with their parents at home, they come under their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26. However, if your child is going to another state to study, you will need to contact your insurance company to ensure there are in-network insurance providers close to your child’s location. In the event that no in-network providers are close to the area, you need to take your child to a doctor to take care of their routine medical tests, while they are still living at home, waiting for college to start.
In addition to this, you need to create a plan to handle emergency situations. Your child also has the option to buy healthcare insurance coverage from their college, which is an option available to children who are 26 and above. To provide both students and parents with a clearer picture on obtaining healthcare insurance, they should know that their child has more than one option.
Here are five types of healthcare insurance coverage that a college-going student can get:
- Students can remain on their parents’ healthcare insurance plan.
- Sign up for healthcare insurance plan through their college.
- Purchase subsidized Obamacare coverage (based on income).
- Buy catastrophic healthcare insurance coverage (anyone under the age of 30 can purchase this insurance plan, which has lower premiums and higher deductibles.
- Obtain healthcare insurance through Medicaid (healthcare insurance for students belonging to low-income families).
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