Do you know what, if any of your parent’s homeowners insurance policy will cover you while you are away at school? Are you aware of any auto insurance coverage limitations? Do you know where to seek healthcare in case of an emergency? Moving off to college is an exciting time for students, but also an important learning experience. Rather than leaving the worries to mom and dad, it’s time to take the initiative to find out more about your college insurance needs. Read on and discover three of the most important things a student should know about insurance in the college years.
#1 – Mom and Dad’s Insurance Offers Only Limited Personal Loss and Liability Protection
Everyone needs property insurance, but the amount varies from person to person. According to Bankrate, the average student hauls electronic devices and personal belongings to school valued at approximately $10,000. Since theft is the most common crimes occurring on American college campuses, have you considered how you might be affected if your dorm room or frat house is burglarized? If you are a full-time student living on campus, chances are your parent’s homeowners insurance will provide personal loss coverage up to a certain amount. However, the claim could be subject to a high deductible, and it could cause your parent’s insurance premiums to rise.
It is also important to consider potential liability expenses and how your actions or your friends’ actions may affect you legally and financially. For example, your parent’s insurance may cover damages to your dorm room and losses sustained by other people if caused by a covered event, such as a fire or smoke damage. If you host a party and things get out of hand, however, your parent’s insurance is unlikely to pay related claims.
#2 – Auto Insurance Needs and Requirements Vary by State
Auto insurance is mandatory in every U.S. state, though specific coverage requirements vary by state. If you are not attending a local school such as UW-Sheboygan, or UW-Milwaukee, and have chosen to go to school out-of-state, your existing liability coverage may not meet minimum standards, putting you at risk of fines and legal complications. It is important to review your current coverage and talk with an insurance agent about your insurance needs and requirements while away from home.
#3 – You May Need to Find a New Doctor
College students spend 8 to 9 months a year away from home. For the one-third of students who attend a school more than 100 miles away, it is important to establish a relationship with a new healthcare provider before a need arises. Chances are, you can stay on your parent’s health insurance policy throughout school to save on premiums. However, not all physicians and hospitals will accept your parent’s insurance plan, which could leave you with expensive out-of-pocket costs. Talk with your insurer about network healthcare providers near your college or university, and choose one within your network.
Don’t Leave Yourself Open to Insurance Gaps in College
No one can help you understand your college insurance needs better than a trusted insurance advisor. Your personal situation is unique depending on a number of factors, such as the school you attend, where you live, what you drive, how often you attend class, and the type of coverage your parents have. Before you leave the nest this fall, contact our office to review your potential risks and ensure your coverage meets your needs.