When your college student begins life in a dorm or off-campus housing, you may think the value of his or her possessions is not high enough to merit the expense of insurance protection, but those textbooks, smartphones, laptops, TVs, furniture, and clothing add up. In fact, insurance comes in handy for more than just pricey possessions.
At Florida Farm Bureau insurance, we understand that you have many decisions to consider as you prepare that student for life away from home, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have about insurance possibilities. Let us know how we can help.
It makes sense that the valuable items your child owns may require insurance protection, but there are other circumstances where coverage could be a lifesaver, as well. Here’s a quick checkup on what you need to know to make the right decisions about insurance protection for your college student.
Personal Property Coverage
Many students won’t need to worry about coverage for their belongings because their parents’ homeowners policy may protect their valuables, up to a certain amount. Make sure to check that policy before sending your child off to live in a dorm or off-campus housing. You’ll need to know what is covered, and to what extent, if their property is lost or stolen.
Even if the parents’ policy does cover their children’s possessions at the dorm, do the math. Because homeowners’ policies typically offer coverage by the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the deductible is higher, thus potentially cancelling out the loss or damage to an $800 laptop or TV, if your deductible happens to be $1,000. A dorm policy with a $500 deductible and a smaller coverage limit would easily replace that same item.
Liability coverage offers protection if you are found to be legally responsible for someone else’s harm or death while in your home. This is the important distinction from dorm insurance, which only covers personal property, leaving liability and other protections uncovered.
Whether your student is living on campus or off, if he or she hosts parties—and especially if alcohol is served—it could lead to a lawsuit if a guest is seriously harmed. In addition, if anyone is injured or becomes seriously ill while in your home, and it’s your fault, liability insurance would cover medical bills that could arise.
Coverage for Additional Living Expenses
A third level of insurance that should be considered for college students is protection for additional living expenses, in the possibility of a forced evacuation of an apartment or home due to fire, the weather or other forces. For example, the policy would pay for the cost of living in a hotel, including meals, until repairs make the apartment livable again. It also protects possessions that may have been damaged or lost due to the disaster.
Extra Insurance Protections
Higher value items, such as jewelry, bicycles, cameras, musical instruments, rare art, autographed items, etc. may not be covered by renter’s insurance, but they can be covered inexpensively by “scheduling” them into an existing renter’s policy.
Two More Things…
Just so you will know, there are two assumptions you should share with your child that he or she should never make about insurance coverage:
- Don’t assume your landlord’s insurance will cover your stuff. He or she is not responsible for items lost, stolen or damaged in the apartment or house you are renting, no matter if it was caused by fire, weather conditions or any other disaster. Even though that person should have insurance on the building itself, you are responsible for the loss of your belongings.
- Don’t assume your insurance policy cover’s your roommate’s stuff. Just because you have renter’s insurance, the coverage will most likely not apply to your roommate. Make sure your friend is aware of that, so he or she can weigh the decision to purchase insurance, as well.
If you need more information, this guide to purchasing renter’s insurance may help you become more aware of your options. Making the right decision now may save you time, money and disappointment in the future.
Purchase Renters Insurance with Florida Farm Bureau Insurance
We offer quality, affordable policies to protect you and your college student (or anyone renting). To get a quote, use our agent finder to locate one near you.