These days, a student's first home away from home is just as likely to include expensive laptops, cell phones, tablets, and wireless speakers, as their parents' house. Because so much of this tech is portable, college theft is a big concern.
Regardless of where your student lives, if he or she is bringing several thousands of dollars' worth of valuables to school- consider looking into extra coverage because there are often cash limits on certain categories under a regular homeowners policy.
Your child just graduated high school and for a graduation gift you bought them a brand new laptop for college and speaker system for their room. They are going to college at the University of Minnesota as a full time student. Now you are wondering... will these, as well as other, valuable items be insured from theft, vandalism, or fire?
If your child continues to live in your household, their belongings are covered under your policy.
If your child stays in a dorm room on campus and you, the parents, have renter's or homeowner's insurance for your home, your insurance will extend to cover their belongings, up to a 10% limit of your personal property coverage.
For instance, if your renter's or homeowner's policy has a limit of $200,000 for personal property, there will be coverage for up to $20,000 for your child's belongings. Keep in mind that coverage is subject to your renter's or homeowner's policy deductible, usually $500-$1,000.
Check with us to make sure the personal property limit on your homeowners's policy is adequate. You might need additional coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, music instruments, or certain sports equipment.
Note: Is your child is returning home or traveling abroad for longer periods of time as part of their college experience? If they leave their belongings in a dorm room or fraternity / sorority house for more than 45 days, your homeowners policy will no longer cover those belongings.
In that situation, it's more important to either ship the belongings home during extended absences or temporarily store the items in a commercial storage facility.
If your college student lives in his or her own place off-campus, or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get a little trickier. You might have to set up a separate renter's policy for your student.
That will not only cover his or her 'stuff', but also provide liability coverage in case somebody gets hurt in your child's house.
In addition, many landlords have made renter's insurance a requirement of the lease. Renter's insurance policies are usually quite affordable, generally less than $15 per month.
Depending on your child's particular situation, there might be some other variables that need to be considered. This is where an independent insurance agency (like us!) really comes in handy.
If your student is about tome into his or her own place, give us a call. We can help you navigate through the insurance-jungle and make sure you get the best value and protection for your money.