As a college student, making sure you have the right insurance coverage to protect the free couch you found on the curb may not be that high-up on your to-do list. However, take a moment to consider everything else you own in your space. Your books, laptop, phone, clothes. Imagine the cost of replacing all the items you own. Everything.
How much would it cost to replace all those items? Would you be ok paying that amount in full? If the answer is no – then you should make sure you have the right insurance to be adequately covered.
Am I Covered?
Insurance coverage & protection can come in two forms: from your parent’s/guardian’s homeowners policy or your own stand-alone policy like renters insurance.
There are a few factors that determine if you will be covered by your parent’s/guardian’s homeowners policy or if you should get your own renters coverage, like: Are you staying in a dorm or off campus?
If you’re staying in a dorm or rental unit on-campus, there’s a good chance you’ll be covered under your parent’s policy. Ask your parents what kind of insurance policy they have, and see if they can reach out to their agent to verify if you’ll be covered.
Whether or not you end up with coverage under your parent’s policy or your own, be aware that all policies have coverage limits. Most homeowners and renters limit the coverage provided for property of dependents off at college to 10% of the amount stated in the policy.
Be sure to do the math and take an inventory to make sure your personal property is fully covered.
Are you living off campus?
Most homeowners policies won’t cover a dependent living in an apartment. This means, if you end up living off campus, your parent’s policy may not cover you. Check with the insurance agent to confirm any coverage limitations. If you’re staying in a rental off campus – you should look into getting your own renters insurance policy.
You might not think your belongings have much value, but just the cost of your computer, cell phone, books, and clothes can quickly add up.
How many credit hours are you taking?
Make sure to read the fine print of the policy you end up with to ensure you are eligible. Some plans may specify a certain number of credit hours to qualify for coverage.
How old are you?
Even if you stay in an on-campus dorm, your parent’s policy will only cover you up to age 25. After that, it’s up to you to nail down your own policy to cover your belongings.
Will you be involved in an organization?
If you are on the board of directors of any organization, ask for a summary of their Directors and Officers Insurance policy. Make sure you are listed and covered in case you are personally sued for actions you take or words you speak on behalf of the organization. This will ensure that you will be defended and covered for potential costs.
Do you have Health Insurance?
Adult children can remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26. There are only a few exceptions to this rule, one of which being for young adults under 26 who take a job that offers health insurance; in this case, you wouldn’t be able to stay on their parents’ plan.
If you fall under this exception to the rule, check with the company you are currently insured with, your alumnae/i association, or any general agent to find out your coverage options.
Do you have a car?
No matter what you drive, your vehicle must be covered with at least the state minimum in liability. In Texas, the minimum liability limits are known as “30/60/25” coverage, which means the policy will pay a maximum $30,000 to each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
Though minimum liability coverage will keep you legal on the road, it doesn’t adequately cover you or your vehicle. Liability insurance won’t cover your hospital bills or the costs to repair or replace your vehicle. Consider buying other types of coverage – such as medical payments, collision, and comprehensive – to pay for your expenses in case of an accident.
Where do I start?
Have your parents reach out to their insurance agent to find out if their policy will extend to you. If their policy won’t cover you, start by contacting your own insurance agent. The right insurance agent will sit down and make sure that you get the right coverage for the items you’re looking to protect.
You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at the amount of coverage you can get for a small premium.
Have questions about your coverage options? Get in touch with our team of experts through the form below.
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