When students head to college in the fall, they’ll take more than a backpack full of fresh pens and notebooks. They will be armed with technology must-haves, furniture, clothing and everything it takes to get through a school year away from home. As a parent, you can help protect them with the right insurance coverage so they can focus on what really matters this school year.
1. Homeowners or Renters Insurance for College Students
If your child lives on campus, their belongings may be covered by your homeowners insurance. Depending on what they bring to school, take an inventory (ideally with photos) and keep your receipts. If anything is damaged or stolen from their dorm room, it may be covered under your homeowners policy. You can also help protect their more expensive electronics (like laptops, tablets and cell phones) from electrical surges and mechanical breakdown with residential equipment breakdown insurance.
If your child plans to live off-campus, consider adding renters insurance. It’s a surprisingly affordable way to protect your child’s belongings. Renters insurance will cover the possessions inside their apartment from theft or damage. What it won’t cover is various types of damage to the structure: the apartment building or house they are renting. When looking at off-campus housing, verify the property owner has a policy to cover the structure itself before signing a rental agreement.
2. Car Insurance for College Students
There are many things that factor into auto insurance coverage when your child heads to school, including the distance from home, whether the city or school has public transportation available, and whether they will live on-campus or off-campus. Your student can still remain on your policy, but chat with your agent about your auto coverage needs.
3. Health Insurance for College Students
Students aren’t always known for making the best health choices when they go to school. Combine living in close quarters, not enough sleep and little exercise, many students feel under the weather more frequently during college. They may need to need to visit the health center or find a local doctor where they attend school.
According to provisions in the Affordable Care Act, your child can remain on your health insurance plan until the age of 26. Let your insurer know that your child will be going away to school. They may be able to provide you with a list of in-network local healthcare facilities. Also, be sure that your child has their own health insurance card. Discuss co-pays and other provisions unique to your coverage and have a plan to cover expenses as they arise. Check with vision and dental insurance as well — often students can take care of these appointments when they are home during breaks (so they don’t need to find providers near the college.) Emergencies happen, and it’s best to be prepared!
4. Travel Insurance for College Students
Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime for a university student. But a new place with a new language can be scary to navigate, especially during a crisis. From lost luggage to medical emergencies, travel insurance can be an economical safeguard so your student can focus on what they traveled for: the fun, the culture and hopefully the learning. First, check with your credit card provider, your child’s school and your existing health, auto and homeowners/renters insurance policies — you likely already have coverage that will extend abroad. Then, contact your Farm Bureau agent to discuss what insurance options would best fit the trip.
5. Identity Theft Insurance for College Students
When people live in close quarters — whether a dorm or apartment — it’s tough to always be vigilant with your sensitive information. Identity theft can happen when confidential information is left out, say on an open laptop or cellphone. Consider adding identity theft protection to your homeowners policy to help prevent identity theft from happening, and resolving it if you or your child do fall victim. It’s also a good idea to go over strategies to keep this information safe with your university student.
6. Personal Liability Insurance for College Students
Accidents happen, especially in college. If someone falls down the stairs at your child’s apartment, personal liability insurance can cover medical bills and even legal expenses. This coverage encompasses injuries on your property and damages to others’ property. Personal liability insurance is generally included in your homeowners or renters policies, but consider umbrella insurance for deeper protection.
Peace of Mind From Here to There
Sending your child to college can be a big adjustment — for both you and your favorite student! Knowing you’re covered with the right insurance policy can help make the transition easier for both of you. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent about providing the right coverage during college (and beyond).