Many of you are dealing with, for perhaps the first time, sending your child away to school this fall. It is a great time for the family – both the child and the parents. Of course, college is expensive and once that is resolved the next question is what happens to insurance coverage while my son or daughter is at college. When they were 17 and 18 living at home and they were either driving a parent’s car or perhaps did some negligent act injuring others, there would be insurance coverage under a homeowners or car insurance policy. The question is what happens if they do the same type of things while they are away at school.
The first thing is to talk to your insurance agent to make sure there is coverage both if they are driving an automobile as well as if something happens to their personal possessions in a dorm or apartment or if they were to do something to result in injuries to another and a claim is made against them or you as their parents. Make sure the agent shows you the specific language in the policy that provides coverage. This may result in an increased premium but it is to your benefit to make sure that your children are covered in the event something unfortunate happens at college.
Most homeowner’s policies will extend coverage to your college student under certain situations. Generally, they need to be a full-time enrolled student who was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school.
Often times, the student is covered if they are under as specific age like 24, depending on the policy, and still in your care. Often times the student must attend college within a covered territory as defined by the policy. Again, all questions that should be answered by your insurance agent.
Often times a college student may be covered under a homeowner’s policy but there may be added limitations to what coverage is provided as well as the amount of coverage. Some policies limit coverage depending upon the circumstances that needs to be explained by your agent.
If you are worried about insuring your student’s belongings put a list together and keep receipts of the items with a value or better yet keep the receipts if you are buying new things for the student. This would give you a better idea of how much coverage you need to have to protect your child’s belongings in the event of damage. Sometimes, a separate renter’s policy would be appropriate. Again, discuss the options with your agent so that you and your student can rest assured that your student has car, renters and/or liability coverage for any unfortunate events while away at school.
Also, students get injured while at school and if caused by the negligence of another can entitle your student to compensation. Please make sure to contact our firm if your student is injured while away at school to discuss their options and to make sound legal choices. Even if your child is going to school out of the state of Wisconsin, many times those cases can be handled by an attorney in your jurisdiction. I have represented many college students over the years and always offer a free, no cost, no obligation consultation to discuss your rights. Be sure to share your comments and consult with a professional insurance agent for a review of your liability policies.