College preparation should include an insurance evaluation
As your child heads off to college, you’ve got a lot to think about. What will they need for their dorm room or college apartment? Will they get to class on time? Do they really need that new t-shirt from the bookstore? Before your child leaves, you’ll also need to decide what insurance coverages you should continue to carry as they head away. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it can be very important to their (and your) financial well-being.
Will your child be taking a car to school? Most schools require freshmen to live in the dorms, although having a car means the student can drive home or run errands more easily, and any parking provided may not be close by or protected.
If your child takes a car, notify your insurance company the car will be at school.
This may affect your rate, especially if the school is in a large metropolitan area. If the car is a no-go, ask your insurer if there’s a reduced rate if the car isn’t driven while the student is away. And in either case, ask your agent if there’s a good student discount available.
Your child’s property may be covered in a dorm room by your homeowner’s policy (check to be sure), but there may be limits on coverage. You may need extra coverage for expensive items like laptops or tablets. For an off-campus apartment, consider a renter’s policy. Besides covering belongings, a renter’s policy also provides liability protection in case someone is injured on the property. (Check for personal injury coverage.)
If you have a family health insurance policy, your child should be covered. Some universities also offer health insurance coverage for students while on campus for an additional fee. Check if your health insurance includes doctors and hospitals where your child attends school. You may pay a lot for health expenses if they’re considered out of network. If you find that out-of-network costs could be an issue, consider adding a supplemental insurance policy to help offset the costs.
If you don’t have any life insurance on your child, consider an inexpensive policy, especially if your child may have college loan debt. Having coverage now may also help provide insurability for your child as they get older.