Sending your college student off to school is a huge milestone—but between worrying about tuition, the cost of books, and other college-related expenses, it’s easy to overlook the realities of campus living, and the importance of prosperity insuring your student. Whether it’s laptops, cell phones, or textbooks, college students are likely to have a lot of valuable items with them on campus, and protecting your college student’s property (and your financial investment!) with the right kind of insurance coverage is a crucial step to ensure that they can focus on their studies without worrying about all the “what-ifs” of adulthood.
Understanding the Risks Faced by College Students
Due to their very nature, college students are vulnerable to a variety of risks, from theft and damage to personal belongings, to unexpected medical expenses, and accidents. As a parent, it is important to understand these risks and not only talk through them with your child, but also take steps to protect them.
When it comes to insurance policies that will help you do just that, property insurance or renters insurance for high-value electronics and items like laptops, cellphones and even textbooks is a must-have for any student—and especially those in tight quarters like dorms. For those living off-campus, renters insurance even more important, as it can help them recover should something happen, as it provides protection against losses and damages to personal property. Additionally, off-campus students might consider liability coverage, in case someone gets hurt in their rental unit.
Finally, college students may need additional or supplemental health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses. Many schools offer health insurance plans to students, but it’s important to read the fine print and ensure the policy covers the necessary medical services.
In general, it’s important to note that while some colleges and universities may offer a variety of insurance policies specifically for their students, these policies may not provide sufficient coverage for all of your student’s needs, so it’s important to compare policies and understand the specifics of the coverage before selecting an insurance policy for your college student.
How to Choose the Right Insurance Policy for Your Student
With so many insurance options available for college students, it can be overwhelming to choose the right policy. Your best plan of action is to sit down with your student and a local insurance broker that can explain all the coverage options, premiums and details. If nothing else, it gives your new adult some information they’ll need when they have to cover their own property and assets!
Still, here are some key factors to consider when selecting insurance for your college student:
1. Coverage Limits
Look for policies that offer coverage limits that meet your student’s needs. For example, if they have expensive electronic equipment, make sure the policy provides enough coverage for those items.
Consider the deductible amount when comparing policies. A higher deductible can lower the monthly premium, but it means you’ll pay more out of pocket if your student needs to file a claim.
3. Reputation of the Insurance Company
Do some research on the insurance company before purchasing a policy. Check online reviews and ratings to ensure the company has a good reputation and track record of handling claims effectively.
4. Additional Benefits
Some insurance policies offer additional benefits such as roadside assistance, identity theft protection, or rental car coverage. Consider whether these benefits are worth the extra cost for your student’s needs.
Don’t forget to compare costs among different insurance policies. While you want to ensure your student is adequately protected, you also don’t want to break the bank with high monthly premiums.
Remember, insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. Each student has unique needs, and each campus has different challenges, so it’s important to evaluate policies based on their specific situation. Taking the time to research and compare policies can help you find the right coverage to protect your college student and their belongings.
Quick Tips for Protecting Your Student’s Belongings
With so many students living in shared spaces and dorm rooms, it can be difficult to ensure that your child’s property is kept safe and secure. Here are a few steps (outside of a new insurance policy) that you can take to help protect your college student’s belongings:
- Create an inventory. Before your child heads off to school, create a list of all the valuable items they will be taking with them. This will not only help you keep track of what they have, but it will also be helpful if something goes missing or is stolen.
- Purchase a safe. Investing in a small safe is a great way to protect important documents and small valuables such as jewelry. Make sure to choose a safe that can be secured to a wall or floor, and to provide your child with the combination or key.
- Use security measures. If your child is living in a dorm room or shared space, it’s important to use security measures such as locks on doors and windows. If their room doesn’t come with a lock, consider purchasing one that can be easily installed.
- Keep copies of important documents. Make sure to keep copies of important documents such as passports, social security cards, and insurance policies in a safe place at home. This will be helpful in case any of these documents are lost or stolen while your child is at school.
By taking these steps to protect your college student’s belongings, you can give yourself peace of mind and help ensure that their transition to college is a smooth one.
If you have a new college student, we know this is an important and hectic time of year. But with the right coverage, you can rest easy letting them “adult” on their own, knowing that they are protected from whatever comes their way. If you’d like help exploring your options, contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs.