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Ensuring Peace of Mind when College Beckons

By August 22, 2011 No Comments

Your Baby is heading off to college.  Exciting and stressful all at the same time.  Seems like there are 1001 things to think about and plan for. Make sure insurance is one of them – preferably at or near the top of your list. That’s because there are more than 50,000 thefts and other property crimes on US campuses every year – and countless more routine and emergency medical incidents.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebeone/267843349/

In some cases, existing homeowners, health and auto insurance policies provide the coverage you need. In others you may need separate or additional coverage, especially if the student will be away from home. Here are some of the issues to help you decide:

Property Insurance: It’s amazing how the value of a student’s personal belongings quickly add up, often to a five figure number. You should check whether your homeowners insurance covers this – but remember, even that may require expensive items such as computers or valuables to be separately listed in the policy. Otherwise, consider renter’s insurance, which has the added advantage of liability protection.

Health Insurance: Most family policies cover dependents who are full-time students, but definitions of “full time” vary by insurer. Students who marry will likely lose this coverage.  Also, if your policy is through a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and the student is outside of their coverage area, although they’ll probably be covered locally for emergencies, they may have to return home for routine medical visits. Separate student health insurance plans are available but benefits are usually limited compared with family policies. Premiums are affected by a range of considerations including deductibles and co-pays. Our health insurance experts can help you review your options and help you figure out what the best choice is for your student.

Auto Insurance: The key issue here is whether the student’s existing auto insurance policy imposes any limitations on coverage for extended out-of-state use.  In addition, you also have to let your agent know when the auto is going to be parked or garaged at a new location, especially, again, if it’s out of state.  Is your student going away sans vehicle?  If so, you may qualify for a discount.

The important point to drive home, is the need to always check the extent of your existing coverage before the student leaves. Of course, we would be happy to work with you on this and provide further information and advice.

For more information, or for a coverage analysis, please call our office at 805-781-6336 or visit us online at Engle and Associates Insurance