If your child is leaving for college this fall, chances are you have worked feverishly all summer to ensure all your ducks are in a row. You’ve had your student’s car serviced, signed a lease, and written the tuition checks; but have you reviewed your insurance coverage? Transitioning to the college years means your child will be more independent, but will still rely on you for financial support. Continue reading to learn about the four of the most common insurance mistakes college-bound students and their parents make every year.
#1 Not Purchasing Renters Insurance
It may seem like a given – your homeowners insurance will cover your student’s belongings in the event of a theft or other covered loss. But what if your child is living off campus? Many homeowners policies have exclusions for personal property protection, particularly when the student is only attending school part-time or otherwise renting an apartment or house off-campus. Renters insurance is highly affordable and easy to acquire; not to mention it could save thousands of dollars in replacement costs for furnishings, electronics and other personal belongings lost due to a covered event.
#2 Not Creating an Inventory List
Many students load down their cars and leave for college with no record of what is taken. If an insurance claim needs to be filed, parents have the burden of proving the value of those belongings, including electronics and smart devices that can easily be worth thousands of dollars. As you are helping your student pack, write down everything you send, from toiletries and clothing to laptops, phones, TVs and gaming consoles. Snap a photo of each item to store for safe keeping with your inventory list.
#3 Letting a Friend Borrow the Car
Just because your child is driving his or her vehicle to college, it does not mean other students on campus have chosen to do the same. It is common for students away at college to rely on walking and bicycling, and occasionally request to borrow the vehicle of a roommate or friend. If you own the car your child has lends to a friend, you could find yourself on the hook for damages or liability caused by the reckless driving of your child’s friend. Consumer Reports also warns to think twice about letting your child lend a vehicle to a friend, as accident claims could lead to increase in your insurance premiums.
#4 Not Searching for a Network Healthcare Provider
If your family has health insurance through work or a private plan, chances are your student has elected to remain on your plan throughout college. The Affordable Care Act makes it possible for all adult children to remain on a parent’s health insurance plan until age 26, making health coverage more accessible and affordable during the college years. If your student is moving to a new area or new state, however, your coverage may be limited. It is important to check for healthcare providers near your student’s campus that participate in your network health plan. If your student needs to see a doctor or visit an emergency room while away at school, he or she should know which physicians and hospitals to seek care from to avoid unexpected claims denials or expensive out-of-network deductibles.
Contact Our Office for Help Avoiding Costly College Insurance Mistakes
If your student is one of the 15,000,000 kids leaving for college this fall, now is the time to review your family’s insurance coverage. We’re here standing by and ready to assist you in examining your current policies for potential coverage gaps. We can also provide you with helpful tips for avoiding unexpected liability or personal loss expenses while your student is away. For more information or to get a no-obligation, free college insurance quote, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.