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Does your Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover your College Student?

college-girl-smilingBy Sara Thomson

What happens if theft or damage occurs away from home?

No one is required to have homeowners insurance if they own a home, unlike auto insurance in some states. But if your home has a mortgage, the bank might require a homeowners insurance policy in order to protect your house in case any damages occur. Your homeowners insurance policy can cover losses incurred by some weather, sudden or accidental situations like heating/cooling system mishaps, liability, vandalism, and theft. What most homeowners do not know is the coverage in your homeowners insurance policy often extends personal property off-premises to a limit or can be requested to extend off-premises theft as well. Off-premises coverage means you have coverage for any property that is stored, temporarily, in a different location from your home. If your child is away at college and living on campus, you can ask your agent if their belongings are covered. Some policies limit the amount of insurance for off-premises belongings to 10% of the total coverage for personal possessions. This means that if you have a $70,000 coverage for belongings 10%, or $7,000, might be covered. For off-premises theft, it is common for it NOT to be included on most homeowners policies today and would need to be discussed or requested.

What happens if my child is at college and some of their belongings are stolen?

Many college students want to move off campus and rent their own apartment or house by their junior or senior year. The landlord’s insurance will not cover your child’s belongings; furniture, electronics, or clothing in the case of theft, damage, etc. Coverage for those things would be covered under a Renters Insurance policy. Renters Insurance is specifically for rental situations and properties, the policy may cover anything from computers and furniture to weather damages or theft and vandalism. Your homeowners insurance policy will typically not cover theft from your child’s rental property, just like it will not cover any weather damages that occur on that property. Renters Insurance is a second protective policy for your child while he or she is living off campus at college, covering the unexpected.

Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover liability for you and your children away from home, this is a great conversation to have with your agent.

If you want to discuss this or have any questions about your policy, call your knowledgeable Hometown Independent Insurance Agent at 1-800-568- SAVE (7283) or email us at

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