High School graduation is just around the corner. Congratulations parents! Now, do you know what else is just around the corner? Your child leaving home for college. You need to get out in front of a host of planning considerations for his or her departure. One very important subject is the need to carefully consider and plan your child’s insurance coverages. We’ll discuss them here.
Property and Liability Insurance
There are several ways to insure your student’s belongings away from home at college and protect yourself in case he or she has an accident and becomes part of a lawsuit. Even though your student may not be a minor, parents can be brought into a lawsuit so here are considerations on liability insurance as well.
Renters insurance - Obtaining a separate renters insurance policy has many benefits.
Most home insurance policies do extend coverage to your students away at college.
If your student is away at college without a car, please let your insurance agent know so you can get a discount on your auto insurance. The discount applies if they are 100 miles or more away from home without a car.
Do not remove your student from the auto insurance policy. Most parents are eager to lower their auto insurance premiums and remove the student from the policy. If the student is removed from the policy and ends up driving someone’s vehicle at college, they will not be covered. That includes if they rent a car or borrow a car.
If your student has a vehicle at college, make sure the policy reflects the new garaging address so the carrier knows where the vehicle is.
Find in advance health providers, pharmacies and emergency services convenient to your child’s dorm or apartment who takes your health insurance if you are using your own insurance. You will want to choose providers who are in your network to take advantage of the in-network benefits, copays and deductibles. You will want to do this before there’s an emergency just to be prepared. Be sure your student knows where to go if they need healthcare. Pack this information with your child in multiple places so they can have it if they have an emergency. Cell phones are fine but have it in a second place in case the cell phone goes missing. If they have prescription allergies that should be included in case a second party is using the information.
Have your student take a picture of their health insurance card and store in their cell phone so they have a backup in case they need it but did not carry it with them. Good luck to your college student this year. What an exciting time with so many new experiences. You almost certainly will have many new questions to address. If it pertains to personal insurance in VA, MD, or DC, TriState is ready and able to serve as your independent insurance consultant and agent.