Posts Tagged ‘laptop’
by Ross Turner
If your child is leaving for college, you probably have several checklists you are working through to get him or her ready. Have you thought about how insurance plays into the process? When your child moves away from home, there are a number of insurance questions to consider…. especially if your child is planning to live off campus. Remember, not all insurance policies have the same terms and conditions.
Here are our suggestions on how to make sure your college student’s insurance needs are met.
Protecting the Dorm Room and the “Toys”
When it comes to covering your child’s personal property, the coverage from your homeowners policy extends for both Property and Liability… as long as your child is a full –time student (12 hours) during regular semesters. But if something happens (for example – a laptop is stolen), you may not want to turn in a claim on your primary home. Or you may have a higher deductible and it doesn”t make sense to turn in the claim.
Our suggestion is to let the liability extend from your homeowner’s policy and consider purchasing a student property policy from a company such as National Student Services Inc. (NSSI). With this company, for example, you can purchase a $5,000 property policy with $100 deductible for only $127 a year. Then a property loss won”t affect your homeowners policy and your child will only have a $100 deductible if his laptop is stolen. To access NSSI for an application, click here.
Taking the Car to College
If your child leaves the car at home, you might be eligible for a reduced rate if the student will reside more than 100 miles away from the car. If your child takes the car to college, it is important that you notify us that the car will be garaged in another location.
Many college kids make a habit of swapping cars to keep the best parking spots. Is it possible that your child could drive someone else’s car while they are away? This could be a huge coverage gap for you if the vehicle is used on a “regular” basis. We highly recommend you purchase the extended non owned coverage endorsement to your auto policy. For approximately $15 dollars annually, you could save a bundle in the long run.
Staying Off Campus
If your child is living in an apartment and the lease is in the parent’s or parent/child’s name, then 10% towards contents automatically extends from the homeowner’s policy. If the lease is in the child’s name only, then you need to consider renter’s insurance.
Purchasing a separate renter’s policy in your child’s name will cost between $ 130 – $175 annually based on about $20,000 contents (minimum to get replacement cost with most companies and $250 deductible) and also a separate liability limit of $ 100,000 or $300,000.
A child is considered a named insured if he/she is 23 years old and a relative (21 years old if in your care and not a relative); a full time student as defined by their school (usually 12 hours); and a resident of your home before moving out (still shows the parent’s address on the student”s driver license.)
Studying abroad can provide a host of insurance issues. For example, an insurance company can suspend theft insurance at a student’s domestic residence if he/she has been studying abroad for more than 45 days. Consult us to make sure your child is covered.
Health insurance coverage is complex, at best. Problems can surface without warning, so it’s a good idea to familiarize your child with the coverages and emergency provisions of your plan and policy.
Things to consider include age cutoff, whether your child is a full time or part time student, if your plan has a network where your child is going to college, and more. Mistakes in this area can be extremely costly and plans vary widely, so check with your health-plan administrator in advance to minimize surprises.
We recommend you request an additional health insurance card for your student to keep in his/her wallet. Also if you have a Health Savings Account, request an additional card from the bank so the student can pay for services with your pre-tax contributions. Worried your student might use the H.S.A. card for meals? Never fear! These cards are coded so they cannot be used in restaurants, etc.
We also recommend increasing your existing life insurance to cover the total cost of your child’s tuition. When figuring that cost you will want to include: tuition, room and board, transportation, books, and supplies. Whether you have a college fund prepared for your child or are paying as they go, life insurance is a secure method to safeguard your child’s education.
If you have any questions at all, our Personal Lines team and our Life & Health expert are all ready to help. Contact Dede Wade at 400-3505 or Denise Long at 400-3507 for any personal insurance needs. Contact Phyllis Foster for any life and health needs at 400-3515.