Sending kids off to college is one of the hardest things I think I ever did with my four children. When my youngest child left for college, I was convinced that I had the process down pat but there still were things that I forgot or never ran into with my other kids. I was always amazed at the number of things that each kid felt he or she had to take with them. We had a large Dodge Caravan and it was always filled to the roof top with barely enough room for me to drive … let alone anyone accompanying me on the trip to the college. The last thing I thought about was if my college bound student had the proper insurance coverages and I am an insurance agent!
There are important insurance coverages that you need to review before your student moves away to college. Parents should look into their homeowners policies to be sure that their student’s possessions are covered. Think about the cost to replace all the electronics, books, iPods, iPads and other items to make their dorms comfortable. This will easily total a fair amount of money and theft of belongings is one of the most declared campus problems. Be sure to ask us at Brownell Insurance what coverages you currently have in force with us. Most of our homeowners policies will cover up to 10% of Coverage C (Contents) that you have available to you from your insurance as long as they live on campus. If your child decides to live off campus in a home with other students, they will need to have their own renters policy to cover their belongings for your insurance will not cover it. Please note that there might also be limitations on the amounts that will be paid for jewelry, computers, software, musical instruments and other high ticket items. There probably is an endorsement that can be added to your homeowners policy or their renters insurance if need be for an additional premium.
Other insurances you might want to look into are:
Make sure you let us know if your student has been driving your family car and will now be at least 100 miles away from home at college. You may have a pleasant surprise and be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance, which could be quite substantial. If your son or daughter is taking your car or has a car of their own, it is very important to let us know if the car will be at school or left at home. This is important because the cost of the insurance will be based on where the car is located on a regular basis. Many of our auto insurance companies will also give a discount to students who get good grades at college.
Check into your medical insurance and be sure to find out to what age your child is covered up to. If your group insurance policy originates in NH, your child is covered up to the age of 26 regardless if they go to college or not. If your group insurance from work originates in another state you will have to check with your benefits manager for it could vary. Another factor that could affect your coverage is where they are living. Most health insurances have guidelines as to what would be in or out of network for expenses. Being out of network usually costs much more than working within your health insurance’s network. If your health insurance is not an option for your student, many colleges do sell health insurance for their students. Be sure to carefully look over the coverages provided to insure you have the correct coverages for what you need. We are glad to help you review your health insurance to be sure what you are covered for. If your child is going to be studying overseas for over 60 days your health insurance may no longer cover them. We are able to provide temporary international health insurance at a reasonable rate. They will need to secure this before they leave the country.
Well, hopefully that helps you to be aware of some the insurance coverages you need to look into. Relax, all will go well. It is very exciting to watch your child grow into adulthood. There will be some growing pains but it will all be worth it. It is hard to believe it has already been several years since I was taking my youngest child to college. Enjoy … time passes so quickly.