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Back to Class: College Considerations, Part 3

Updated: Jun 28

Part of the college experience is for a student to experience living ‘on their own.’ But all that extra elbow room could leave serious coverage gaps. Mom and Dad, make sure you’re asking these questions: Since my child will be living on campus, how can I protect all the things taken to school or bought there?

Just as sure as you have a homeowners policy to protect all the investments you’ve made in your home, you’ll want to be sure you’re safeguarding your student’s second home. And most often, it is that very homeowners policy that comes into play here.

Typically, if you take 10% of your policy amount, you’ll find the coverage limit for personal property. For a $100,000 policy for example, you’d be looking at $10,000 in coverage for your student’s belongings. Now at first thought, you may struggle to see how your their stuff could possibly tally that sum. But add up all the things they’ll take (and likely buy)—electronics galore, appliances, furniture, musical instruments, sports and/or science equipment, textbooks, clothes, shoes, jewelry or other valuables, everyday essentials, etc.—and you’ll see just how much capital can be squeezed into an itty-bitty dorm room. A typical estimate of renters property is set at $20,000 and some even as high as $30,000. Clearly, the stakes could be higher than you think.

Does insurance coverage differ when a student lives in off-campus, rented housing?

Campus-provided housing is essentially an extension of your home. But where does off-campus living fit in? A whole new set of rules applies. As party to a rental contract, your college student cannot fall back on your homeowners policy in the case of theft, vandalism, flood, fire, or any other unfortunate event.

Here’s where the often needed and overlooked renters policy is an absolute essential. With a monthly premium typically costing less than the average pizza splurge, a renters policy is a surefire way for parents to feel confident and students to feel at ease. And just to be sure coverage limits are adequate, an inventory of student belongings is always a good idea.

Whether living on campus or not, having the needed protection in place will yield peace of mind, all around.

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