How Best to Insure Your Kids at College

Keeping your children safe has always been a top priority, so it should come as no surprise that things don’t change just because they are leaving home for the first time. Whether they move across town or across the nation, it’s important to perform an insurance checkup to weigh all available options. Ask your agent which is the best policy for your family.

Add-on. Typically the easiest solution is to extend your own homeowners policy to cover your children’s belongings. Keep in mind, however, that not every policy will provide full coverage, especially if they live in dorm rooms or other shared accommodations. Ask about riders or extended coverage policies that provide full protection.

Independent Coverage. While it may seem less affordable, independent coverage for your college student often is more cost effective than initially meets the eye. It only makes sense: your student owns less and often requires minimal coverage. Depending on the student’s assets, renters insurance may be all they need.

Umbrella Policy. Parents and students with a high net worth should explore adding an affordable umbrella policy to protect against liability claims. Since parents often assume legal responsibility for their college-aged children, it’s important to base the policy limits upon the assets of the parents – not the child – unless the child has significant assets in his or her own name, at which point a policy may become an imperative for both parties.

Extras. Don’t forget to review the limitations and restrictions. For example, it’s not uncommon to find that homeowners policies do not cover belongings in transit. You may need to purchase additional short-term insurance while your child is moving or a rider for expensive items such as electronics.

Tally the Total. Before making a final decision, take the time to obtain estimates for both scenarios. First ask your agent to quote adding coverage to your existing policy and then evaluate a comprehensive insurance package including liability coverage for your student while away from home. Remember, there are pros and cons to each, so research as much as you can.