Transitioning to college life includes a lot of moving of your personal belongings. Good insurance can help by protecting these belongings. In the year 2013, there were about 79,000 cases of property crime incidents on college campuses. Bikes, cars, laptops, jewelry and other valuables are commonly stolen items in college. Without good insurance, these items are painful to replace. Before heading off to college, talk to your parents about insurance and try to figure out a policy that works for you.
If you are a student living on campus in a dorm, your belongings are most likely covered by your parents homeowners insurance policy. Most standard homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover belongings in a dorm if your primary residence is still at home with your folks. However, there are sometimes exceptions. Electronics like phones and computers, and jewelry sometimes require extra coverage. Talk to your parents about checking with your independent insurance agent about the limitations of your family’s current policy. Additional coverage is purchased in the form of an endorsement (add-on to your parents current policy) or a floater (separate policy). If you are planning on living in a dorm, make sure you know what you are and are not covered for.
Students planning to live off campus are usually not qualified to be covered by their parent’s homeowners insurance policy. There, students will need a common renter’s insurance policy. Renters insurance is usually affordable and will protect your valuables from things like theft and fire. Be aware that renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Students living off campus also may need their own car. Your car could be covered by your parents car insurance (check with your independent insurance agent) if it is theirs. But if it is legally documented as yours, you would need to buy auto insurance, that is, if you don’t already have it.
Be ready before you go to college this fall. Make sure that you are fully insured for your belongings. If you are living off campus, talk to your local independent insurance agent about renters insurance. Without insurance, you are taking the risk of being unprotected for many valuables.