College could be risky business

mother saying goodbye to college daughter

As your child heads off to college, you’ve got a lot to think about. What will they need for their dorm room or college apartment? Do they really need that new T-shirt from the bookstore?

Before your child leaves, you’ll need to decide what insurance coverages you’ll need to continue to carry as they head away. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it can be very important to their (and your) financial well-being.

Auto insurance
Will your child be taking a car to school? Most schools require freshmen to live in the dorms, and any parking provided may not be close by. On the other hand, having a car means the student can drive home or run errands more easily.

If your child takes a car, notify your insurance company the car will be at school. This may affect your rate, especially if the school is in a large metropolitan area. If the car is a no-go, ask your insurer if there’s a reduced rate if the car isn’t driven while the student is away. And in either case, ask your agent if there’s a good student discount available.

Renter’s insurance
Your child’s property should be covered in a dorm room by your homeowner’s policy. (Check to be sure.) There may be limits on coverage though. You may need extra coverage for expensive items like computers.

For an off-campus apartment, consider a renter’s policy. Besides covering belongings, a renter’s policy also provides liability protection in case someone is injured on the property. (Check for personal injury coverage.)

Health insurance
If you have a family health insurance policy, your child should be covered. Some universities also offer health insurance coverage for students while on campus for an additional fee. Check if your health insurance includes doctors and hospitals where your child attends school. You may pay a lot for health expenses if they’re considered out of network.

Life insurance
It may sound morbid, but if you don’t have any life insurance on your child, consider an inexpensive policy, especially if your child has college loan debt. Having coverage now may also help provide insurability for your child as they get older.

WBTL-0762 (June 19)

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