If you have a child who is getting ready to leave for college, chances are that insurance might not be at the top of their list of things to worry about. But in the event that expensive items are damaged or stolen, you’ll want to make sure that your child’s property is protected. Read on to learn more about what may be covered under your existing policy, and when you might want to consider adding additional coverage.
What Is Covered Under My Homeowners Policy?
The good news is that in most cases, if your child is living in on-campus housing (like a dorm), your homeowner’s policy does provide at least some coverage. Students younger than 26 years of age who live on campus are covered under their parents’ policy, but there are limits. Coverage usually includes the personal property inside the student’s residence (with varying limits), and medical expenses and personal liability coverage in the event that an accident occurs in a student’s dorm room.
Some policies limit coverage for belongings that are not located in the home, often referred to as off-premises coverage. The coverage varies greatly between policies, but generally, anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of your personal property coverage may extend to your child’s dorm residence. For example, if your policy covers $200,000 in coverage for your home’s contents, you could have anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 of off-premises coverage. If your child has a lot of expensive equipment necessary for their major, like photography equipment, musical instruments or computers, your homeowner’s coverage may only extend to cover a portion of their value, so it’s important to refer to your individual policy for details.
Protect Your Child’s Valuables
As you would do for the contents of your own home, make sure you have a detailed inventory of your child’s belongings, including photos of the items, serial numbers, receipts and other relevant information. In the event that these items are damaged or stolen, having this information handy is critical. It is recommended that you itemize receivables worth more than $1,000, as there is usually a cap on how much coverage particular items or types of items receive under your policy.
If your child chooses to study abroad, it’s also crucial that you understand what your policy covers, and whether you might need additional coverage. This is especially important if your child plans to take expensive valuables with them. For a special situation like this, you may want to speak with a local agent to help understand your coverage.
In the event that your child chooses to live in off-campus housing, like an apartment or house, they may want to consider purchasing a renters insurance policy in their own name. Renters insurance policies are usually very affordable and can offer additional coverage that can be crucial if unexpected damage occurs.
Coverage For Your Unique Situation
No matter where your child is living while they’re attending college, you’ll want to be sure that they have the protection they need to keep their belongings safe. If you’re uncertain about whether your homeowner’s insurance policy has enough coverage built in, or if you think that your college student might need to purchase additional coverage, reach out to your local agent. They will help answer any questions you have about your needs and will help you get coverage at a price that works for everyone.