Insurance 101 for College Students
College campuses are coming to life this week as students launch the fall semester. Trailers, trucks and overloaded trunks are emptying into dorms, apartments and rental homes in every college town from coast to coast. Think college-bound students don’t own much stuff? Just ask the friends and family helping them haul it! College students typically own thousands of dollars of assets, and insurance protects it.
For a student living in a dormitory, a parent’s homeowners insurance often extends coverage. Under the Personal Property section of the insurance policy are details on coverage for students living on campus. Some policies may limit the amount of coverage to 10 percent of the total amount of the policy’s overall coverage for personal possessions. For example, if the amount of coverage for a parent’s personal possessions is $100,000, the student living on campus would have a limit of $10,000 for items lost, damaged or stolen.
If the student lives off campus, they need renters insurance. It provides coverage not only for personal possessions, but also liability protection (if someone trips over the coffee table and suffers injuries) and additional living expenses, in the event the rental property is damaged and the student needs to live elsewhere.
How much coverage does a student living off campus need? If you’ve got college kids, give them a homework assignment. Have them do an inventory of their stuff with free software from the Insurance Information Institute. You can match coverage to what they own and, in the process, they will have created a record in the event you need to file a claim. That’s like getting extra credit for an assignment.