If you have teenagers, you’re likely very in touch with the adage, “One day you’re changing diapers, and the next you’re sending them off to college.” One of the results of that compressed passage of time is the bracing reality that your college-bound teen will need countless check-list items… Don’t forget the need for insurance.
Let’s start with their health: Most US colleges require their students to have health insurance. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, your college student can remain on your health insurance plan until age 26. If, however, your insurance doesn’t cover your teen or doesn’t meet the college’s requirements, you’ll want to explore other options, including the college’s healthcare plan (which is sometimes pricey).
What are other insurances you may want to consider for your college student while they’re away from home? Should an accident or some other unforeseen event occur, you can help relieve some of their (or your) financial stress if you also have these 5 other insurance types worth considering:
1. Car insurance: Likely, your college-age student can remain on your policy while in college. However, be sure to contact your insurance professional regarding where your student is attending, as it may increase your rates. Also, many insurance companies offer student discounts for students who maintain a B average, so be sure to ask about special rates and discounts, and keep in touch with your student and the insurance company.
2. Renter’s insurance: If your child is going to live on campus, your homeowner’s insurance may (or may not) cover them. Each insurance company has its requirements regarding insuring possessions outside of the physical property. Contact your insurance professional to determine if your student is covered or if you need to purchase renter’s insurance, even if they live in the dorm.
If your student lives off-campus, renter’s insurance is essential. Look for a policy that will also cover temporary living expenses, in case the off-campus location has a fire, flood, or other damage (thus requiring repairs that could result in having to pay for alternate housing for a while).
3. Electronics insurance: Often, electronics are covered by your homeowner's or renter's insurance but may have a high deductible to replace them. Therefore, you may want to purchase a protection plan that covers the gadget against theft, damage, or loss up to the replacement value. Also, check if the electronics are covered while living in the dorm or used at other campus locations.
4. Identity theft insurance: College students are often the target of identity theft for the following reasons:
Identity theft plans often include credit monitoring and recovery and may include covering legal costs. This type of insurance is vital to helping your student cover the financial loss they may experience if their identity or other personal information is stolen. Ask your insurance professional if an identity theft rider can be added to your homeowner’s policy or if you should consider purchasing an individual policy for your college student.
5. Personal liability insurance: Often, personal liability insurance is included in the parent's homeowner or renter insurance policy. Still, it’s a good idea to ensure it will cover your student while they’re away at college. For example, personal liability insurance covers legal expenses if your student harms someone and gets sued, if your student damages someone’s property and needs to replace it, or causes bodily injury and has to pay their medical bills.
Before purchasing any of these types of insurance, consult your insurance professional to determine if you can add them to your own insurance policy or not. Remember that your student is living independently for the first time in their lives, and having extra protection in place can provide peace of mind for the both of you.
Give our office a call if you need clarification on any of this info, want to discuss college funding solutions, or have questions about your investment plans. We’re here to help.