When your child heads off to college, you want the best for them in every sense. When insuring college kids, protecting their property is a factor since 50% of college crimes involve theft according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). But what does their coverage look like now that they’re out of the nest? Let’s examine some of the factors that will impact what is covered while they’re away at school.
Where Does Your College Student Live?
If your student resides in a dorm, they are most likely covered by your homeowner’s policy under an “off-premise” clause. Unless they permanently switch their resident address on their ID and voter registration and change their mailing address, they are considered a resident of your household. However, there may be limits to how much coverage is afforded in the event of a theft or other damages. The best way to find out what this means for your family is to put in a quick call to your agent and ask the question about how much coverage you have for “off-premise” resident.
If a student lives off-campus in their own apartment, chances are they are not covered under the “off-premise” clause. In this case, a renters insurance policy would be your best bet. These policies are usually very reasonable and will cover nearly all property within the living space and provides valuable liability coverage for them.
What Happens with Car Insurance While They’re Away at School?
The question also arises as to how auto coverage works when a student is away. First, coverage will apply through your auto policy only if your child does not own the car. After this, like homeowners, auto coverage is largely tied to residency. If your student still calls home “home,” and has mail sent there, they are still covered under your policy.
If your student decides to use their feet and friends for transportation, leaving their car at home, let your agent know. You may qualify for a reduction on your premium.
How Is Your Student Securing Valuables While at School?
Since theft is such a big concern on college campuses, it’s important to have a plan to prevent it. Your students should leave valuables at home as much as possible. Have your college-bound kiddo make an inventory of the items they’ll have with them in the dorm. As with any home inventory, this is helpful in the event of a loss and will ensure you are reimbursed for the items you lost.
Big tech is a must at college so put protections in place for all laptops, tablets, and other various techie gadgets. Many laptops include protections either as part of or offered during your purchase. Your credit card company may also offer coverage for certain big tech items. You may want to give them a call to find out.
The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington DC offers the following tips to secure your laptop or other important electronics to avoid theft:
1. Never leave devices in plain sight in a vehicle, even if the vehicle is locked.
2. Keep your devices with you at all times in a nondescript bag.
3. Apply distinct markings to your device to make it easily identifiable if stolen or lost.
4. Keep devices secure when not in use by locking them with a cable lock or inside a safe.
5. Perform regular back-ups of your device and consider only using automatic logins for unimportant sites.
Since so many factors contribute to coverage when insuring college kids, giving your agent a quick call will help clarify your questions. Fudge Insurance is here to help you navigate any policy changes you need to help you make the best of these years.