College-Bound? Parents Are Reminded to Re-Evaluate Insurance

This week Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sent out a press release reminding parent of college bound students to think about their insurance needs as they are frantically packing up their students. Coincidently my daughter is packing her suitcases for college. Monday we are flying out to Chicago to move her into her dorm room. Upon seeing this press release, urging me to consider if we have enough insurance to “cover the unexpected, whether it is a stolen computer, an on-campus auto accident or a huge medical bill for a late-night trip to the emergency room,” – I am wondering do I really need to worry about this?

“Emily’s stuff will be picked up under your homeowner’s policy, ” calmly explained Derek Ross, .C.M. Meiers Company, Inc., Woodland Hills, my agent. “Just keep in mind the limit is 10% of the total contents amount of your policy.”

“It’s very important to contact your local insurance broker or agent to discuss changes that are taking place in one’s household,” added Ross.  “A simple conversation between broker/agent and the insurance customer will provide the necessary details to assess all of their dynamic insurance needs.  This way, everyone can sleep at night knowing that there items are adequately insured and protected.”

If a student is living on campus, he or she may be covered under their parents’ policy. But students living off-campus likely won’t be covered, says Jones.

Knowing what coverage you have is an important first step, and this type of insurance is a relatively easy solution. The premiums for renters insurance average between $15 and $30 a month, depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the policyholders possessions. There are also specialized college student policies now being marketed to students on campus, which charge a flat fee for a small amount of coverage. Student policies often range from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on your coverage and deductibles.

Jones also reminds parents to think about health insurance.

“Most family policies extend health coverage for dependents until age 26. However, it’s important that you carefully check your current policy to see if there are any geographic limitations that you need to be aware of,” said Jones. “It’s also recommended that you check to see what the university’s health plan offers as well.”

The Department of Insurance offers several tips to help students and their families understand insurance policies and what steps to take to make certain they have adequate protection. These guides, along with an inventory packet that make it easy for students to record their possessions, as well as the following “quick tips.”

  • Take pictures of your belongings, print them out and label
  • Fill out an inventory list, including make, model and cost of the item
  • Store your inventories and photos in a safe deposit box.

Ah, if only getting an “A” were this easy!