Your child is packed and ready for college, right? Well, maybe not if he doesn't have insurance arrangements. Students heading off to college could encounter many insurance issues that you, as a parent, may not have considered. The following tips should help you make the appropriate insurance preparations for your college student.
Don't overlook property insurance when your child heads off to college. Your student is probably taking valuable personal items with him to his dorm room or off-campus apartment, such as a DVD player, computer, television, etc. Usually, the school or landlord will not cover loss of these items if there is a fire or theft, so therefore, you need to make sure that your child is covered under your property insurance or set up a separate renter's policy for your child. First, check to see if your homeowner's policy covers your child's items. For students living in dorms, most policies cover contents up to a certain percentage (usually 10%) of the personal property limit on the parent's policy. For students living in off-campus housing, many policies will not cover the student's contents. If this is the case, you or your child will need to purchase a separate renter's policy. Check with local insurance companies for premium costs and coverage.
Since September 2010, the healthcare reform law requires health insurers to allow young adults to stay on their parents' plan until they are 26. Check with your own medical policy to see what coverage will be provided for your child. If your child is going to school out of state, your policy may not cover anything but emergency care. If your policy will still cover your child for routine care, be sure that you review your plan's approved list of physicians and hospitals in the area where your child's college is located. Using an out-of-network physician or hospital may mean that the total costs will not be covered. If you don't have medical coverage or your coverage is limited, consider getting your child's health insurance through his college. You can often find lower insurance rates for your child with his college's group plans than with individual policies. Most student health plans have eligibility requirements, such as half time enrollment. Check with your child's college for more specific information on their health plans.
Your family auto insurance policy will more than likely cover a car that your child takes to college as long as the car is registered with you. Depending on where your child goes to school will determine your premiums. In some cases, coverage could go up. In other cases, it could go down. Because of this, it is important to notify your insurance company as to which college your child will be taking the car.
Before you send your child off to college, make sure he has insurance coverage in the above-mentioned areas. Check with your coverage first to see what will carry over for your child. If you need to purchase additional policies, search around for the best cost estimates.