|The Insurance Guy: Add Insurance To List For Collegebound|
|By David Bissaillon, iBerkshires Columnist|
03:39PM / Wednesday, August 01, 2012
The graduation parties have finally ended, the vacations will be winding down, the Olympics will be over, and it will be time to head back to campus. Or in some cases, it will be time to head to a college campus for the first time.
Of the 79 things that needed to be done to get ready for the college year, "reviewing insurance topics" doesn't make too many lists. But it should.
Most families (at the very least at the demand of the college or university) will be thinking about how Johnny or Hannah will secure health insurance for the year, but there are a few other things that are important as well:
Your son or daughter goes to college with "all their stuff." It is important to make sure that those items, including laptops, TVs, clothing, phones, etc., are covered under an insurance policy. In many cases, a homeowners policy will extend coverage to other locations (like a college campus), and you may be just fine. But, it is certainly worth a call to your agent to make sure that you know if personal items have coverage if they are lost, stolen or destroyed.
In some cases, and certainly if your student is living in an off-campus apartment, you (or they) will need to secure renters insurance. This will give the student protection of their personal items in case of fire or theft, as well as some personal liability protection in case anyone was to get injured in their apartment. In many cases, this can be purchased for $125 to $300 but is certainly worth it if something were to happen.
On the auto insurance front, if your student is 100-plus miles away from home and does not have a family vehicle with them, you may be entitled to a discount from the insurance company. Again, each company may do a little differently, but it is certainly worth looking into if that is the case. And they would still be allowed to drive those vehicles when they come home to visit.
Finally, it is very important to let your insurance agent know where your son or daughter's vehicle will be if is in another town or city. If the vehicle will be away from home on a college campus, the insurance company wants to know what town the vehicle is garaged in. An insurance claim could be denied by an insurance company if the garaging of the vehicle is not properly noted.
Granted, none of this is as fun as ordering a care package for your college student, but it certainly could be a lot more impacting, so, please take the time to consider these four points. And remember, still no hot plates in those dorms ... .
Dave Bissaillon dabbles in real life while working daily as an account executive at Smith Bros.-McAndrews Insurance Agency in Adams. His occasional column will touch on insurance and other fun stuff.