Back To School: Tips To Get Your Insurance in OrderPosted on Jul 20, 2021
Your child just graduated high school and is heading off to college. As a parent, you have a lot on your plate. Helping them pack, preparing to move, ensuring they have everything they need to be successful in college are just a few things you need to consider.
But have you thought about insurance? You likely have not thought to look at your insurance coverage to see how it is affected by your child’s first year at college.
Here are a few tips to consider to ensure you and your child are best protected.
Your health insurance will vary based on how your child is covered. If your health insurance plan covers dependents, a child to be on their parent’s coverage until the age of 26. If that is not the case, your child may be able to purchase their own coverage through the various health insurance marketplaces. In addition, your child might have the ability to pick up student health insurance which many universities offer.
In the event neither of those work for your family, check with your state regarding Medicaid coverage which is available to families with disabilities or limited incomes.
Personal Property Insurance
Your insurance coverage may need to be updated if your child is living off-campus or in their own place. Types of personal property insurance you’ll need to add or adjust include the below:
- Homeowners insurance: Many homeowner insurance policies cover additional items at another residence. When your child determines where they will be living, check with your homeowners policy to see how much (if any) will be covered at an additional location. Most policies cover at least 10% when the student lives elsewhere.
- Renters Insurance: If your child is paying rent on an off-campus apartment, they may be able to purchase renters insurance. This extremely affordable insurance covers renters if their property is damaged or stolen and may help supplement the homeowners insurance. It also provides liability coverage in case of injury or damage to another person for which your child might be held liable.
Is your child allowed to have a car at school? What happens if they borrow someone else’s? These are all situations you have to consider when your child goes to college.
- No car: Even if your child won’t be driving at school, continue to keep them on your auto insurance policy in case they come home and drive a vehicle on break.
- With car: Car insurance varies from state to state. If your child is attending school in another state, check with your insurance company to ensure they will cover issues that happen in another state. Because of the different state requirements, your premium may be subject to change if there is a change in the state.
- Other vehicles: Will your insurance company cover your child if they drive someone else’s car while at school? If your child does not have a car, do you still need to have a policy? You may need to consider a non-driver or secondary insurance to ensure coverage while they are at school.
- Rideshare insurance: With Uber and Lyft being popular with college students as a way to earn extra money, parents might consider checking with their insurance carrier regarding physical damage and liabilitycoverage for their vehicles. Because it is used for business purposes, ridesharing is not covered by regular auto insurance. While the driver is required to have insurance, there will be gaps between theirs and yours if something happens. That is where rideshare insurance comes in.
You or your child might be afforded some insurance discounts, based upon certain circumstances, such as the below.
- Distance: Is your child going to college far away from home? Ask your insurance company about a distant-student discount. If a student is over 100 miles away, for example, you may qualify for a discount. Parents might be able to save up to 35% while their child is at school with no access to a vehicle.
- Good student: If your child is an excellent student, you may be entitled to a good student discount. While it varies from carrier to carrier, your child may meet the set criteria and G.P.A. to give you a discount on your insurance bill.
Parents know that having a child on a policy drives up the cost of insurance. However, it may also raise the price if you need additional services such as renters insurance or more liability insurance.
Parents may also need to be aware of how their insurance will change in the event the student needs to make a claim. Ask your insurance if the rates will get raised if a claim is made or the insurance is used.
The safety of your child is worth more than your insurance will cost you. With all the busyness of getting your child ready for their first year of college, thinking about insurance may not be something that comes to mind.
But it should be a top priority before they leave for school as it can be related to everything your child does at college. Ensure they (and you) are set up for success in their college years.