Insurance Considerations for the College-bound Student

Sending your child off to college is a big transition. He or she is leaving the nest, off to learn self-reliance. Before the child completely spreads his or her wings and takes flight, however, you need to make sure your son or daughter has proper insurance.

While deep down you know your child will be OK, small mishaps are bound to occur during the next four years. Prepare him or her for the worst with adequate insurance protection.

Property Protection

Even if your offspring is moving out, their belongings might still be covered by your home insurance. If he or she is a full-time student, living on campus and still has your home listed as his or her permanent address, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You can even purchase a discounted umbrella policy to supplement your own insurance.

However, if your child lives in an apartment off campus, is a part-time student and lists school as his or her permanent address, then you might run into trouble. There’s no reason to despair, though! Students can purchase renters policies and schedule endorsements for high-value items.

Health Insurance

Let’s face it: College is one big germ factory. During any given winter month, outbreaks of bronchitis, influenza and mononucleosis sweep across campuses. Plus, college has its fair share of injuries.

If your kid is on a sports team, you probably already recognize this risk, but what about regular falls? Who’s to say your child won’t sprain an ankle on a patch of ice? Students aren’t always the most cautious of individuals, and they’re prone to disease, so it’s crucial that all college-bound kids have health insurance. In fact, a great number of colleges and universities require inbound students to get insured.

Health Care Reform is making this requirement a little easier to fulfill. As of 2010, most children under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parents’ family insurance plan. The second option is to put a college-bound student on his or her own health plan. Many schools offer low-cost health insurance to students, which can be a good option for parents. You also can purchase a policy through a separate insurance company.

Auto Coverage

Car insurance for their teen driver is a source of great anxiety for many budget-wary parents. Sons and daughters driving off to school might be able to stay on their parents’ policy, particularly if they are attending an in-state institution. If students can’t remain covered by their parents’ plans, they can always purchase their own. While insurance can be pricey, there are plenty of discounts available for young drivers. Teens can qualify for savings by taking defensive driving courses or even maintaining a good grade point average. It also helps if they maintain a clean driving record; you can’t emphasize that fact enough with your teen.

Waving goodbye to your kid when he or she is leaving home for college is scary. You can at least put aside some of your fear and rest a little easier knowing that your son or daughter is fully insured.

About the Author

This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism.

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