An Insurance Guide to Sending Your Child Off to College

August 18, 2015

Many college and university students will soon be heading to school, which means now’s the time to start thinking about insurance for your child. Where your child is living and studying will impact what kind of insurance they need once they leave home.

Home & Tenants Insurance

If your child is moving into a dorm room they will likely be covered under your home insurance policy; however, some policies cap the coverage and a limit of about $5,000 isn’t unusual. If your child is bringing a lot of expensive items with them to school—including laptops, music and specialty equipment, electronics, etc.—you should speak with your insurance provider to see if additional coverage needs to be added to your policy to ensure their belongings will be fully covered.

If you child is renting a room, apartment, or home off campus then they’re going to need their own insurance as they will not qualify under yours. Tenants insurance will protect their belongings while providing liability insurance as well.

Travel Insurance

If your child is travelling out of the country to study full-time for a semester or for the duration of their education then it is a wise idea to get travel insurance, especially emergency health insurance. This will protect them in the event they are sick or injured while studying in another country. Health services can be exponentially expensive when abroad, often costing thousands of dollars a day for care and treatments. Travel insurance provides peace of mind and coverage at a much lower price tag, with policies starting as low as $2 a day.

Car Insurance

Even though your child may be moving away to study, it is recommended you keep them on your auto insurance policy. This ensures they remain covered if they use the vehicle when they come home, and it also helps them build up a positive driving record which could earn them insurance premium discounts down the line. If it isn’t already, changing the status of your child to an “occasional” driver could lower your auto insurance premiums in the meantime.

Of course, to really get the most bang for your buck you should always shop insurance rates around.

Tips for Effective Insurance Quote Comparisons

  • When comparing rates, look not only at the lowest options, but at the breadth of the coverage.
  • Watch out for exclusions, especially when it comes to travel insurance. These are terms under which the insurance provider will not provide coverage.
  • Talk to your auto insurance provider about lowering your car insurance rates once your occasional driver goes off to school. Don’t be afraid to compare rates online to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your needs. Also ask them about discounts, such as for good grades.
  • Your home insurance provider may not offer the best tenants insurance to your student. Like all types of insurance, it pays to shop around for tenants insurance, especially for university and college students when every dollar counts.