There are many things to consider when going back-to-school, whether you’re a parent or a student. College comes with a lot of new experiences and there are many things to keep in mind – something not to overlook though are your student’s insurance needs.
While many students may continue to stay on their parents’ insurance plans, what does this mean for their coverage? Long & Foster Insurance’s Southern Virginia Regional Insurance Manager, Matt May, gives insight into what to consider when it comes to insuring your college student’s vehicle and belongings.
Tenant & Liability Policy
For many students moving into a dorm or apartment, one thing that is super important is protecting their belongings and living space. For those living in a dorm on campus, having a tenant or renters policy is not necessary, as their belongings are covered by their parent’s homeowners insurance.
Many off-campus student apartments, on the other hand, require residents to get some sort of tenant policy. If they’re living off-campus, May highly advises getting a tenant policy to cover liability. This is especially important if the student wants to cover items that are higher priced, such as camera equipment, expensive musical instruments or computer equipment.
May reminds parents that “tenant policies will only cover the belongings of those named on the policy. So if they have any roommates, they should get their own policy.”
For extra liability coverage, May also recommends “parents look into an umbrella policy, which will usually cover up to $1 million of liability beyond what is covered in a standard home or auto insurance policy.” Liability risks tend to fall back on the parent, especially those with college students, so having extra coverage could be beneficial.
When it comes to car insurance, May advises contacting your insurance provider to see if changes need to be made. Most students are on their parent’s policy so the insurer can discuss if they need to get a separate policy for the student or if it is better to stay on their parent’s. Parents tend to offset risks associated with youthful drivers so if students are able to remain on their parent’s policy it can be more cost effective than getting their own.
One thing May recommends is to “gauge how often the student will be using the car.” If the car will mainly be sitting in a parking lot and used on weekends, it may have a lower premium than if the student uses it daily to commute. For those who are not planning on bringing a car to school, the parents can get a discount and lower their policy amount since the car will not be used frequently. May recommends contacting your agent in order to discuss these items.
Make sure to contact your insurance provider to receive details specific to your coverage. Your agent can answer any questions you may have and figure out the best solution for you.