Going Away to School?

Going Away to School?

Going Away to School – An Insurance Perspective

    It’s a very exciting and sometimes stressful time when a student leaves home to go away to college.  Kids are excited and maybe a bit nervous; parents are concerned and anxious. There are often so many questions associated with going away to college and one that is often asked is, “Is my child insured under my policy while away at college?”

Here are some answers to those insurance questions that might come up…

Does our homeowner’s policy cover our son or daughter while away at college?

  • According to most homeowners policies, a student under the age of 24, enrolled in school full time, who was a resident of your home before leaving to attend school, is considered an “insured.” An extension of older children pursuing a higher education can often be obtained from the insurance company upon request.

How will our student’s belongings be covered?

  • Since children away at school are an “insured” on their parent’s homeowners policy, they will be covered for property they bring to school, subject to certain policy limitations.

What are the property coverage limitations?

  • The policy states the limit of liability for personal property usually located at an “insured’s” residence, other than the “residence premises,” is 10 percent of the limit of liability for Coverage C, or $1,000, whichever is greater. The limit of liability for Coverage C is the limit you purchased for all of your personal property, which is shown on your policy. If this limit is shown as $70,000, then the limit for your children’s property at school would be $7,000.
  • Theft of property located at school is covered as long as your child has been there at anytime during a specified number of days before the loss (typically, 60 or 90 days).
  • In addition, all of the normal personal property policy limitations would apply to the collegiate away at school. These limitations are called special limits of liability and limit coverage to specified amounts for such property as money, jewelry and tickets (for example, airline tickets). Some insurance companies have a special limit for computers.

What about liability coverage?

  • Children away at school are covered for bodily injury or property damage they cause to others when held legally liable for their actions.
  •  Included is the liability children have for a hazardous condition in the dorm room, since this location is automatically covered as premises not owned by an “insured;” and where an “insured” is temporarily residing.
  • However, your children are not covered for liability they incur from unlawfully furnishing alcohol to others who become involved in an auto accident.

Is there any other coverage we should obtain?

  • Because of the special limitations and restrictions for certain kinds of property, you may want to consider purchasing specific coverage for scheduled items.
  • Besides establishing accurate values for these items and insuring their full value without limitation, this will broaden the events that are covered and eliminate deductibles.
  • Considering the widespread use of social media, your children should be covered for liability they incur due to oral or written material that libels someone or violates their right of privacy. This kind of liability is included in “personal injury” coverage, generally available as an endorsement to the homeowner’s policy.

Is there anything else we should do?

  • Have your collegiate take a careful inventory of everything they are taking with them, including make, model and serial numbers, where applicable. It also would be a good idea to invest in locks where appropriate (laptops) to further protect their belongings.

**Don’t forget to let the insurance company know if your child is away at school more than 100 miles from home without custody of an insured vehicle, because you may be eligible for an auto insurance discount.

Lastly, have them call home often.



Source of information – pia.org  Professional Insurance Agents