The transition from high school graduate to new college student is an exciting milestone. Purchasing new electronics and moving away from home are typically part of the preparations for back to school. AAA Arizona also recommends an important step for college-bound students and their families to take before heading to campus: Review your insurance policies.
Full-time college students living away from home should know they might have limited coverage under their parents’ insurance policies. As a result, before leaving for college, students should check to see what risks and liabilities are covered.
Homeowners and renters insurance tips for students:
• If you live in a dorm, most personal possessions will be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policies. However, expensive items, such as computers and other electronics, might be subject to coverage limits under a standard homeowners policy. If the limits are too low, parents might want to consider purchasing a special personal property endorsement.
• If you live off-campus, purchase renters insurance. Renters insurance is necessary to protect you and your belongings, and can protect you from liability in the event that someone accidently gets injured on the property.
• Leave valuables at home. While some valuable items, such as laptops, may be needed on campus, items, such as expensive jewelry, might be best left at home.
• Create a “dorm inventory.” Create a detailed inventory of all items you’ll be taking with you, including photos and receipts. In the event you need to file a claim, an up-to-date inventory will help make the process easier.
• Safeguard your items from theft. Always lock your dorm room door and never leave belongings unattended on campus. According to the Insurance Information Institute, burglaries make up about 50 percent of all on-campus crimes, and the library, dining hall and other public places are the primary areas where they occur.
• Coverage may depend on whether you leave home or stay in the area. If you take a car to campus and remain on your parents’ policy, coverage likely still applies. If you attend an out-of-state school, make sure your insurance coverage follows you.
To see what discounts you may be eligible for and what type of coverage you might need while away at school, contact your insurance agent.