Aug 8, 2019

Back to School Insurance Coverage Tips

The new school year is here, which is a great time to address insurance issues for your high school and college students. We know that getting kids settled into school is hectic, but these key tips can save you a lot of money and stress.

High School Students

Most parents don’t consider insurance for their children while they are in high school, but there are a few specific issues that are worth a review:

  • Personal Property Coverage: Your child is still living at home but may be taking pricy items to school, such as a laptop computer and personal sports equipment, and you want to be sure that it’s covered against loss or damage. Take an inventory, including picture, of the items and file it in a safe place.
  • Auto Insurance: Protect your new and inexperienced drivers by enrolling them in a Young Driver safety Program that is offered by many insurance companies. Even if your student has already completed a driver education program, this class offers additional experience and may qualify them for can insurance discounts.

Be sure to talk with your kids about protecting their property and safe driving. Stress the importance of distraction-free driving and consider limiting the number of friends who can be in the car.

College Students

While your children are old enough to attend college, they are likely still on your car homeowners and car insurance policies. For this reason it’s important to know the limits of the coverage, possible insurance needs and ways you may be able to save money.

Homeowner’s Policy

  • Personal Property – Dormitory: Most homeowners policy provide coverage for property not located at the residence. Often this is a percentage of the personal property limit on policy, such as 10%, and will cover the student’s property up to that amount. A claim will be paid if the student meets the definition of an insured and the damage or loss is caused by a peril listed in the policy.
  • Personal Property – Off-Campus Housing: If your student is living in a rented apartment or house, they are likely still covered under your insurance. However, items such as expensive electronics and jewelry may require a rider for better coverage. Depending on your policy, you may want to purchase renter’s insurance to fully protect your student’s personal property. 
  • Personal Property Coverage Protection: Contact your insurance agent to review coverage needs and adjust as appropriate. Also, take an inventory of the items your child is taking to college. It doesn’t have to be written – photos and receipts are fine.
  • Renters Insurance. As stated above, sometimes renters insurance is needed to truly protect your child’s belongings when they move off campus. The reason is that a landlord’s insurance policy usually only covers the building, not the tenants’ belongings. 
  • Liability Coverage: Most policies do not provide coverage for properties rented by the insured, including dorm rooms. Any damage your child causes to a rental property or dormitory will not be covered.

Auto Insurance

What is and is not allowed regarding auto insurance will depend in part on your policy. However, key issues are:

  • Your child will not have a car at school: While they may not be driving their own car, you should keep them on your policy for when they return home for weekends, holidays and summer break. Note that if they are attending a college or university more than 100 miles from home, under these circumstances you may qualify for a distant student discount. 
  • Your child will have a car at school: We recommend contacting your insurance carrier to discuss the location and/or state where the school is located. This ensures that you are not in violation of policy terms but your rate may change. 
  • Your child drives a friend’s car at school. Most often your child is covered under the friend’s insurance or, most likely, their parent’s auto insurance. It is possible that your policy will come into play but only as a secondary insurer.
  • Coverage Discounts: In addition to the distant student discount, your student may qualify for a good student discount with some carriers. Some insurance companies also offer the same good driver discount as mentioned above. In many situations you can also change your child’s status with the insurance company from a daily driver to an occasional driver, especially if they are not taking a car to school. 

If your child is taking a car to school, let them know that they are not allowed to loan it to a friend to drive. If the friend is in an accident, your insurance will be primary to address the claims. 

Whether its high school or college, every time your child reaches another milestone it can be both exciting and slightly traumatic. Let use help reduce your stress by finding you the best policies to protect both you and your child. The right homeowner’s coverage and auto insurance can be structured to reflect your child’s needs and it doesn’t have to be expensive. At Alliance we help families just like yours find the right coverage at a price they can afford. Contact us today or call (866) 771-4715 to speak with one of our skilled agents. 

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