Your Teenager is Off to College! Now What?

July 30, 2014

You've spent the last 18 year preparing your child for these first steps into a life on their own and finally the day has arrived. It's sure to be filled with excitement and joy but also a bit of anxiety as you enter into this new stage of life. As with any life event, it's a good time to review any changes that may be needed in your insurance. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as your teen goes off to college.

Auto Insurance

If your student doesn't take a car to school, we recommend that you keep him/her listed on your policy for several reasons:

  • Protection when he/she returns from a visit and wants to drive.
  • Protection when he/she drives a friend's car while away and that vehicle isn't adequately insured.
  • Protection if he/she is hit by a car while walking or bicycling.
  • Keeping the on your auto policy maintains continuous insurance coverage which is important when he/she gets their own auto insurance someday.

If your student takes a car to school, they can usually remain on your auto policy. Contact your insurance agent to discuss the new garaging address of the vehicle. Full-time college students can usually remain covered on their parents' auto policy if their primary address is the parents' house, even if they attend college out of state. One thing to keep in mind, if your student owns the vehicle and hold the title, they'll need their own auto policy.

Homeowners or Renter's Insurance

If your student continues to live in your household, his or her belongings are covered under your homeowners policy.

If your student lives in a dorm room on campus and you (the parent) have renters or homeowners insurance, your insurance policy will extend to cover their belongings, up to a 10% limit of your personal property coverage limit. Check with your insurance agent to make sure your personal property coverage limit on your homeowners or renters policy is adequate. You might need extra coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, musical instruments, computer equipment and certain sports equipment.

If your student lives in their own place off-campus, or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get a little tricky. They may need their own renters policy to cover their personal property as well as provide liability coverage.

Health Insurance

Don't wait for a call from the emergency room to figure out how your health insurance works for your student away at college!

  • Call your health insurance carrier so you know what the provisions of your policy are regarding full-time students. Typically a full-time student is covered to a certain age (usually age 26).
  • Find out how your coverage works out of state if your student attends college out of state. You may have a different level of benefits if your student is out of the normal service area.
  • If your student plans to travel overseas while away at school, make sure your coverage extends.
  • Order an additional health insurance ID card for your student to carry with them should they need services.

Feel free to give our office a call if you have any questions.