Children going off to college

personal property insurance for collegeImportant issues to be aware of when your children head to college

  1. The Insurance Information Institute recommends creating a dorm or apartment inventory with an estimated value of the items.
    Students bring expensive items with them to the college dorm they live in such as laptops, televisions, music systems, cell phones, sporting equipment, bicycles and other digital devises. Your student may forget to lock their door when they leave, or leave their items unattended in the library, cafeteria or student union center causing these items to get stolen.
  2. Does a homeowner’s policy provide coverage for college students?
    A parent’s homeowner’s insurance policy does provide some coverage for a student who is away at school, but its limited. The ISO form HO 00 03 extends the definition of “insured” to:

    “A student enrolled in a school full time, as defined by the school, who was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school, provided the student is under the age of 24 and your relative; or
    21 and in your care or the care of’ your residents of your household who are relatives.

    This is where insureds need to be careful. A student may have stated a term as a full-time student, but dropped a class or two over the semester. Or the student may have turned 24 years old during the semester or be in grad school – at which point coverage no longer applies.

  3. What type of insurance coverage is provided for college students?
    COVERAGE C: Personal Property
    This provides coverage for personal property owned or used by an insured while it is outside of the home. The limit of insurance is 10% of Coverage C for personal property on the homeowner’s policy, or $1000 whichever is greater. This coverage does not apply if the student’s dorm has been unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days.
    COVERAGE E: Personal Liability
    This covers the student for legal defense costs or coverage from an accident (excluding auto, boat & aircraft) that causes bodily injury or property damage.
    COVERAGE F: Medical Payment
    This Provides for the medical expenses of others because of bodily injury occurring at the students dwelling.
    Make sure to notify your agent that your student and a vehicle have a new garaging address. Make sure the minimum auto liability is met when your student attends a college in a state different then the one you reside in. Keeping your student listed on the auto policy even when they are away at school without a vehicle is important. This ensures coverage during school breaks and if they drive a friend’s car with no insurance and are the cause of an accident.

If a student lives OFF campus your homeowner’s policy may not provide coverage. To avoid insurance issues, a separate renter’s policy for college students is advisable. Check with your agent at Hamlin Insurance Agency, Inc. for more information.

Hamlin Insurance Agency, Inc. • 725 Putney Road, Ste 3 • Brattleboro, VT 05302 • Tel: 802-257-9500
391 West Street • Keene, NH 03431

Member New England Insurance Alliance