Most college students bring some pretty expensive items with them to school- televisions, speakers, gaming systems, clothing, smart-phones – it’s wise to make sure these things will be protected before you leave home.
Whether you are living on-campus in a dorm or off-campus housing, it’s important to have coverage for all the things that help you keep up with classes and make your living space feel like home. Though, how you protect your property depends on where you are living…
If you are living in a dorm or other on-campus housing, your belongings may be protected under your parents’ homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. You will want to check with your agent to be sure, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) declares that students who are younger than 26 and living on campus may be covered through their parents’ policy.
It is a good idea to know the policy’s coverage limits for personal property, as some policies may limit coverage for belongings while they are away from the policy-holder’s home. This is often discussed as “off-premises coverage.” For example, if your folks’ policy provides $100,000 of coverage toward personal property, but confines that coverage to 10% for items that are off-premises, it will provide up to $10,000 for items away from their home, including the items you bring to school.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that certain items, such as your laptop, will most likely have coverage limitations. If the policy’s limits aren’t enough to cover the items that you are bringing to school, your parents may be able to add scheduled personal property coverage, also known as a “floater” to their homeowners or renter’s insurance policy to help cover certain valuable possessions.
Off Campus / Apartments
If you will be living in an apartment or other off-campus housing, your parents’ insurance will probably not extend to any personal property that you bring with you (although we recommend that you contact your agent to be sure). Having your own renter’s insurance policy is the best way to ensure that you are protected should your belongings be stolen or damaged by a covered loss. (Covered losses are often described as “perils” in insurance language. Look over your policy to learn what risks it may cover, such as theft or fire.)
A renter’s policy will also provide liability coverage, which can help prevent you from paying an astronomical amount of $ if you are found legally responsible for someone else’s injuries or accidental damage to their property (including your landlord’s.)
We urge you to check with your agent to see about your coverage limits, and for advice as to whether you may benefit from additional coverage for your valuable property.
With any luck, we hope you and your things stay safe and sound while you’re running to and from classes! A final word of advice- Keep a home inventory. It can be a huge help if you ever need to file a claim. The comfort of having coverage for your things can bring peace of mind and help you focus on having a great college experience!