It’s that time of year when parents are sending kids back to school. You may think that the days of the back-to-school checklists are over once you have a college student, but often times there is even more to do!
Along with pricey textbooks, laptops, dorm rooms, and thinking of how you will survive with your baby away from home, you also need to consider that your insurance policy may need an update as well. Here are three important things to consider.
First things first, take a look at your auto policy. Make sure you cover these areas:
- If your child is taking a car to school, you should alert your agent. You will need to report the new location and commute.
- Leaving the car at home? Ask for a discount. Students over 100 miles away can typically save at least 16% on your insurance.
- Check into good student discounts.
- Encourage safe driving and discourage your student from lending the car out to roommates or friends.
Secondly, evaluate your homeowner’s policy:
- Does insurance cover your personal possessions? Your policy may only cover dorm room belongings up to 10% of your total personal possession coverage. For example, if you have $50,000 in coverage, your student’s belongings will only be covered up to $5,000.
- You may need a floater, replacement cost endorsement, or stand-alone policy for big-ticket items.
- Does your policy extend to off-campus housing? You may need a renters policy for your student.
- Updating your policy regularly is important to cover new belongings, and even pets!
- Consider summer breaks. Your policy may deny coverage for belongings left unattended at school over long periods of time.
Third, review your health insurance options:
- Will your child be moving out of your health insurance coverage area? Find out what your coverage and responsibilities are if your student needs out-of-network care.
- What does the school-sponsored plan offer? These policies can often be funded with the cost of attendance, but check the fine print on what is covered.
- How much does the insurance cost you each month? If premium cost is a concern, your student may be able to get their own coverage at a lower rate on their own. The Affordable Care Act requires that your student remain eligible to stay on your policy until age 26, but depending on your cost sharing an individual policy may make more sense.
Sending your kids off to college is an exciting time, but comes with a lot of preparation. With the abundance of changes, be sure that you are checking your coverage to ensure you and your family are protected. Let us know how we can help you prepare!
Updated August 17, 2023