Kids off to college? Make sure they're protected

By Penny Gusner Posted : 12/03/2014

College-bound kids need protection

It doesn't take long for children to grow up. In just a few short years, they go from needing parental approval to watch certain movies to being able to enter into binding contracts.

Of course, just because state laws and society say your children are now adults doesn't mean they still don't need a little help from Mom and Dad. If you have children leaving the nest to obtain a higher education, assist them in evaluating their auto insurance, renters insurance and health insurance.

Car insurance on campus

Whether your college-bound child is purchasing a new vehicle or planning to use the family hand-me-down on campus, auto insurance is essential.

In general, the cheapest way to insure your student's car is to keep it on the family policy.  As long as your child’s permanent address is listed as your home, your car insurance company should allow your young driver and the car to be insured on your household policy.

If your child is the sole owner of the vehicle, then he or she must purchase the car insurance policy for it.  You don’t have an insurable interest in the car, which is needed for you to place a vehicle on your policy.

If your child is going off to college without a car, see about obtaining a discount. Normally this is only available if the school is more than 100 miles from home.  Any closer than that and car insurance companies believe the child will come home on a regular basis, thus, typically won’t allow you to remove your child from the policy or offer you a discount.

Even if your student doesn’t have a car on campus, it’s wise to keep the child on your car insurance policy.  That way your car insurance policy can be used as secondary coverage if your child borrows and wrecks someone else’s car.

Car insurance is not a place to cut corners. In the event your student injures someone else in a car accident, the car insurance company may be all that stands between you and a financially devastating lawsuit.

Renters insurance protects belongings

As students become accustom to life away, the local apartment complex becomes more attractive than living in a dorm. Just because your student won't be spending an entire year in the apartment doesn't mean renters insurance isn’t a necessity. It only takes a single fire or break-in to result in thousands of dollars in lost property.

Under the impression your child doesn't own enough to warrant renters insurance?  Think again. The cost to replace iPods, tablets, laptops, clothes and smartphones add up quickly. And, don’t forget about the expensive textbooks that could be gone in a flash.

Generally, all renters’ insurance policies offer protection against a standard set of 17 perils that are specifically outlined in the policy. These include major incidents, such as:

  • Theft
  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Electrical surge
  • Vandalism
  • Smoke

Renters insurance provides not only personal property coverage, but also liability insurance.  Liability coverage can help pay legal expenses if your student is sued due to someone being hurt in their rental property. 

Fortunately, renters insurance doesn't have to put a big dent in your or your student’s pocket.

Most major insurance companies offer renters insurance for very affordable amounts.  According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, premiums for renters insurance average between $15 to $30 per month. That’s less than the cost of going to the movies twice a month in many locales.

Medical insurance for college kids

Young adults think they are invincible, but all-nighters can lead to depressed immune systems unable to fend off illness. And, weekend pick-up games of football can easily lead to broken bones.

The cheapest way to obtain health insurance for your child is to add him to your employer-sponsored group health plan. If your job-based health insurance plan offers coverage to your dependents, your children can now stay on it until they reach age 26 years, even if a child moves out or gets married.

If you don't have employer-sponsored insurance, it’s time for your young adult to find an individual health insurance policy. Premiums for healthy young adults are generally quite low.

Many colleges offer students access to a group plan that features low premiums for adequate coverage. Compare college health plans to see if one fits your child’s needs. 

If a college plan isn’t available, or isn’t right for your child, then he will need to shop for an individual health insurance plan during open enrollment season. That normally runs from mid-November through mid-February. Your student may qualify for health insurance subsidies that will lower monthly premiums.  Remind your child that there is no special student exemption from the penalty that those without health insurance must pay to the government.

 

Related Topic:

Compare real rates and save real money
Valid Zipcode Required
Select
Invalid Age
Select
Invalid Carrier
Yes
No
Yes
No

Related Articles on Insurance.com

0 Responses to "Kids off to college? Make sure they're protected"

No Comments

What do you think? You can add a helpful comment to this page by filling out the form below.
Just looking for a quote? Click here
 
 
 
See The Most Popular Policies
Thanks,
you're all set.

One of our newsletters
should arrive in your inbox
soon - keep an eye out for it!

Give your feedback