Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Your College Student?
For years, you protected your kids from bumps and bruises. You’ve wrapped them in proverbial bubble wrap with good insurance, helmets, kneepads, and warm coats. Now, 18 years later, they’re leaving the nest, headed off to college.
It’s natural to want to continue protecting them even as they leave home and begin to navigate the world as an adult. Now that they’re off at college, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is: does your Massachusetts homeowner’s insurance policy extend to their dorms?
Living On Campus
The good news for students living on campus is that it’s likely your homeowner’s insurance covers them in their dorm. If so, they’ll be covered for the same types of damages you are – theft, fire, vandalism, and more.
Your college student must meet certain qualifications. They must live in campus housing and they must be considered members of your household. Talk to your insurance agent to confirm your coverage will carry over, and they’ll likely ask a few questions.
- Are they still covered by your health insurance?
- Will you continue to claim your college student as a dependent?
- Are you paying for their tuition?
These and other questions will determine if your student is still considered a member of your household.
Living Off Campus
If your college student decides to live off campus, your homeowner’s policy will not cover them. They will need to purchase renter’s insurance. When choosing a policy, make sure you consider the total value of their belongings, including technology, jewelry, clothing, textbooks, furniture, and other household goods that belong to them. A renter’s insurance policy is recommended even if they have roommates who have their own insurance.
Understanding Your Specific Policy
Before your student heads off to college, give your insurance agent a call to make sure you understand exactly what your policy covers and what the policy limits are. Some policies only provide up to 10 percent of your total policy limit to cover your college student’s belongings. If your total limit is $100,000, their stuff will only be covered up to $10,000.
You may want to increase your policy limit or add a rider specifically for technology. Remember, most policies also have specific coverage limits for technology and jewelry. If your student is like most others, they’ll head to college with a laptop, printer, tablet, and smartphone. Your current technology limit may not be able to replace everything that could get lost, stolen, or damaged.
Before packing up, take pictures of any valuables that they’ll bring with them to school, including a close of the serial numbers. This will help if you have to file a claim after they get to school. Your student should do this whether they’re covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy or they have renter’s insurance.
No matter how much we’d like to, we can’t protect our children from everything. That doesn’t mean that we can’t take care of them while they’re in college. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is sufficient to protect them from potential loss or that they have a good renter’s insurance policy in place. Regardless of which policy you need for your college student, we can help. Contact us today for a quote or to ask questions about your current policy.