College-Bound! Guide to Insurance Coverage
Sending your children off to college is an incredible milestone filled with both excitement and stress…whether it is the first time they’ve been away from home or they’re returning to campus. Amid all the preparations such as signing up for classes, packing essentials, and ensuring living arrangements are made, one crucial aspect that is often overlooked is insurance coverage!
In this article, we explore the essential coverage factors you need to consider throughout your child’s college experience. From safeguarding their belongings to protecting against unforeseen events, M3 Elevate can provide valuable direction to help you navigate insurance options.
So, what do I need to consider for my child to be properly insured?
During the exciting journey of dorm life, typically you have some coverage for your child’s personal belongings and liability extended from your homeowners policy. This is often extended as “off premises coverage”, but it is essential to examine the policy limits closely. While it may offer a level of protection for clothes, computers, phones, books, bicycles, etc., it may not be sufficient in the event of a claim.
Additionally, submitting a claim on your homeowners policy can lead to significant consequences such as steep premium increases and potential policy cancellations. Having a separate renters policy can take the liability off your homeowners policy.
Living off-campus in an apartment presents its own set of insurance considerations. Many landlords or apartment buildings require you to carry your own renters insurance and list them on the policy. Having renters insurance for off-campus housing helps ensure your liability is adequately covered and can financially protect the property owner and the student against unexpected incidents.
Will your child be operating a vehicle around campus? If so, it is important to address this matter with your M3 Elevate account executive. Parking the vehicle in a campus parking lot or near campus might lead to a higher insurance premium, especially if the area has a high theft or vandalism rate. Our team can help you explore auto insurance options and make informed decisions based on the level of risk.
If your child will not be operating a vehicle around campus, do you need to keep them on your auto insurance? The answer is yes! Should they come home and drive any of your vehicles or drive a friend’s vehicle they need to be properly covered. One thing you may want to consider if they are not taking a vehicle with them is a “Student Away at School Discount.” Typically, this is offered if your child goes to school more than 100 miles away from home without a vehicle. Connect with our team to see if you may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance!
Furthermore, there are additional auto discounts that your child might be eligible for:
- A discount may be granted if your child reaches a certain level of college (undergraduate, graduate, PHD program, etc.)
- A discount may be applied if your child achieves a 3.0 GPA or B average (or better)
To make sure your child has seamless medical care and to avoid potential out-of-network costs, research and identify in-network providers near campus. While students living at home are covered until the age of 26, if they are going further away – including out of state – make sure you can locate in-network providers. We recommend that you and your child outline an emergency plan, outlining necessary steps to seek proper/covered medical care near campus.
Personal Liability Insurance
Personal liability coverage is especially important! As a parent or guardian, you and your child could be held responsible for any injuries that occur in their off-campus housing.
Imagine an instance where your child hosts a party at their rented house, and someone at the gathering sustains injuries. In this event, the injured individual has the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their medical expenses, trauma, loss of wages, time away from school, and more. This is where a personal liability policy would come into play. Having a personal liability policy can offer protection and peace of mind, covering potential damage and legal expenses for unexpected accidents.
Throughout the college journey, it is imperative for parents and guardians to address insurance considerations for financial security and peace of mind. Our recommendations for college students include renters, auto, health, and personal liability insurance. Getting individual insurance policies offers comprehensive coverage and alleviates liability from your primary policy. Moreover, it serves as a valuable learning experience for students to manage bills and improve their credit score.
M3 Elevate’s personal lines team is ready to guide you through the intricacies of insurance and ensure your child is adequately covered during their college journey.