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My Child is Going Away to College – What do I Need to Know About Insurance?

college-girl-smilingBy Leighann Bentivegna

Today, the top items on a child’s checklist for going away to college are: computer, TV, printer, gaming console and MP3 Players. With the increasing cost of electronics, it’s more important than ever that you obtain the appropriate insurance protection plan to protect your investments.

Expensive computers, electronic equipment and even items such as jewelry may be subject to coverage limits under your standard homeowner’s policy. If the limits are too low, or your policy does not have “off premise theft” coverage, you may want to consider buying a special personal property floater or an endorsement for these items. There are also stand-alone insurance policies for computers and cell phones.

Another option is a stand-alone policy specifically designed for students living away at college. This can be an economical way to provide additional insurance coverage for a variety of disasters. Theft and campus fires are the top two causes of property destruction that are seen on most college campuses.

If your child is planning to live off campus an important insurance policy to look into is a Renter’s Insurance Policy; this way your child has their own protection policy. You, the parents, should consult your Personal Account Representative to see if your existing homeowners or renters policy extends to off-campus living situations.

In the event that a student is planning to have a car on campus, choose a safe and reliable vehicle. Be sure to do thorough research and then compare to find the best auto insurance rate for you.

Aside from insurance policies, below is a list of some helpful tips to help prevent theft or damage from happening.

  • Create an inventory of what you have before something goes missing.
  • Always lock your dorm room door and keep your keys with you at all times, even if you leave briefly. And, not just at night—most dorm thefts occur during the day. Insist your roommates do the same.
  • Most campus fires are cooking related, be very careful about the types of hot plates or microwaves you decide to bring to school and always use them responsibly.
  • Buy a laptop security cable and use it. A combination lock that needs decoding may be just enough to discourage a thief.
  • Engraving your electronics can help track down a missing device.
  • Don’t leave belongings unattended on campus. Whether you are in class, the library, the dining hall or other public areas; keep book bags, purses and laptops with you at all times. These are the primary areas where property theft occurs.

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