Is Your College-Bound Child Properly Insured?

Sending a child to college is never simple. After years have been spent planning for the children’s financial future, their leaving home for the first time marks a milestone for anxious parents and children alike.

Unfortunately, in the midst of all the planning and preparation, many parents forget one of the most important steps, and that is ensuring that their college-bound child is properly insured.

Following are some tips to make sure you’re all prepared to start the school year without fear:

Home Away From Home: Verify that your homeowner policy covers personal possessions taken to college. Remember, most policies protect valuables up to a percentage of your total possession coverage. It may be necessary to purchase additional coverage in the form of a rider, especially if your child engages in expensive hobbies. Before packing up, take time to clearly label all belongings and take photographs, as that action will provide important documentation should a problem arise.

Hit the Road: Adding your college student to your auto policy is something you may have done years ago, but be sure to update the policy to reflect the new location of the student … and the vehicle. If the family car is left at home, you might be happy to encounter a big discount. On the other hand, out-of-state college students might come out ahead by purchasing an individual auto policy, especially if they have good driving records. Encourage students to keep their grades up and avoid erratic driving behavior in order to qualify for the best possible rates.

Health Coverage: Under health care reforms, parents may be able to include students on their health insurance policies until they reach the age of 26. Be sure to review the providers available in the new location. For those seeking affordable individual coverage - especially for out-of-state students - check out the options provided by the college itself. Most provide free or very low-cost routine care via a health center with special prices for students. Be sure to review the options to determine which plan best suits the needs of your child and family budget.

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