Sending students to college could have an impact on the insurance needs of parents and guardians. Below are some money-saving tips.
Review auto coverage
If a student is attending school 100 miles or more away from home and will not take a vehicle with him, the family may be able to list him as an “occasional driver” with the insurance company and save money.
Conversely, if a student does take a vehicle to college and is shuttling others to and from their hometown on a regular basis, the family is open to a greater liability risk. It is in the parent’s interest to review the bodily injury limits on the auto policy and consider an umbrella policy.
Understand the difference between homeowners and renters Insurance
Many homeowners policies will cover a child’s personal belongings while at college if damaged by fire, water or other perils named in the policy. However, you need to consider the limitations of the policy and if that will be enough to replace what was damaged.
A homeowners insurance policy will likely cover a student living in a dorm, but students who rent off-campus housing should consider renters insurance, which is an affordable way to protect personal property when students are living away from home.
Protect Personal Property
Dorm rooms can be a treasure trove for thieves due to the electronic devices — such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems — kept there. The U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security survey shows that out of 36,000 criminal offenses on 11,000 campuses in 2015, burglary and motor vehicle theft counted for more than half of all crimes. Parents should review their policy to see what is covered and add additional limits for specific items, such as expensive laptops or musical instruments, if needed.
Protect Your Student’s Identity
People fall victim to identity fraud every two seconds, creating significant risk, especially for students. AAA offers identify theft protection coverage free for members. It provides daily monitoring of credit reports, fraud resolution assistance and Lost Wallet Protection. This can ease the process of replacing credit cards and preregistered debit and medical ID cards.
AAA recommends these measures to help keep your student safe while away at college
- Create a “dorm inventory,” with photos, of all valuable items that will be in the dorm. Save a copy electronically and leave the other copy at home.
- Leave valuable or irreplaceable items at home.
- Once on campus, students should always lock their dorm room door.
- Never leave belongings unattended on campus.
- Refrain from social media postings that include photos of valuables.