Sending Your Kid Off to College? Make Sure They Have Insurance.
Ask any parent who has ever moved a kid off to college: When our kids move, they take a lot of stuff with them! From furniture and TV’s to cell phones and PC’s, they can fill a dorm room or an apartment pretty quickly. In order to protect those valuables, it’s important to know how they’re covered under your insurance, because the same risks apply away from home (i.e. fire, theft and vandalism).
First, the type of insurance you’ll need depends on whether your child will live in a dorm, or in off-campus housing, such as an apartment. Often, for kids living in a dorm, personal belongings will be covered under their parents current homeowners or renters policy. Kids who live off-campus may need a stand-alone renters policy independent of their parents’. If the items are covered on your homeowners policy, it’s essential to understand your policy’s sub-limits. Sublimit is defined as: A limitation in an insurance policy on the amount of coverage available to cover a specific type of loss. A sublimit is part of, rather than in addition to, the limit that would otherwise apply to the loss.
Not all renters and/or homeowners policies are created equal, but it’s safe to say that most all policies will contain a sublimit for personal belongings stored off-premises, whether temporarily or permanently. For example, if your homeowners policy covers your home for $270,000 dwelling coverage, you’ll likely have around 70% (or $189,000) of that coverage for personal belongings. And within that limit is another smaller limit for personal belongings located somewhere other than your home. For standard policies, it will be around 10% of the 70% ($18,900) of your dwelling coverage. Beyond that, there are different sub-limits for valuable items, such as personal computers, jewelry and camera equipment. You should check with your insurance agent for specifics pertaining to your own policy’s limits and sub-limits.
For those of you with students moving away to college, here is a helpful article from the Insurance Information Institute (III).
As always, I’m here to help with any questions you may have about your personal insurance. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.