July is here and fall is just around the corner. Whether next month or this time next year, thousands of Rollo clients will be making final preparations to send their children off to college. College is a big step toward gaining greater independence for young adults. With this comes the responsibility of their learning how to protect assets while creating a financially secure future for themselves. For many, these first few major steps often ultimately trigger their first experience with insurance coverage or help them learn about different types of insurance coverages and/or uses they aren’t familiar with. Before allowing your kids to pack their bags and head off to start their new college adventure, take a few minutes to review the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) college students (and sometimes parents) ask about insurance coverage, namely auto insurance and renter’s insurance.
Do I need renter’s insurance when I go to college?
This isn’t a simple “yes” or “no” answer. It depends on a few things.
Are you under 26 years of age, enrolled as a student, and live in on-campus housing or with your parents? If so, your parent’s homeowners insurance will likely cover your personal property, such as a computer, television, bicycle, and furniture, if it is damaged, destroyed, or stolen. That’s not to say that you WANT to claim a “small ticket” item…Insurance isn’t optimally used for “small stuff.” The biggest thing you want to cover is your liability. In the aforementioned scenario, you’ll likely not need a separate renter’s policy.
Will you be living in off-campus housing, such as an apartment or condo? If so, you’ll need your own renter’s insurance policy to cover your personal property and liability exposures. Your landlord’s insurance will not cover these…neither will mom’s or dad’s.
Can I stay on my parent’s car insurance policy when I go to college?
As you’ll quickly learn, as with most insurance-related questions…there are few “yes” and “no” answers…it usually “depends.”
In this case, it depends on many variables, such as whether you’ll be taking a car to school? Will you be driving the car while at school? Will you be driving a friend’s car while at school? Will you be going home on the weekends/holidays and driving a car during that time? Will you be a passenger in a car while enrolled in school? These questions are prime examples of how your personal agent at Rollo Insurance can be consultative resources to you and your family.
When deciding whether or not to stay on your parent’s auto insurance policy, most experts agree that it’s probably best to keep young adults, such as most college students, on the policy. This is especially true if you, the student, plan to take a car to school, or if you’ll be commuting to school or going home on the weekends and holidays and will likely drive a car during that time. This provides a safety net in case you need to drive a friend’s car while at school, such as in the case of an emergency, or in the unfortunate event you are hit by a car while riding a bike, walking, or while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.
If you will not be taking a car to school and are certain you will never drive a car while a student, it might be worthwhile to consider removing your child from your auto insurance policy. The best possible suggestion is to have a sit-down discussion with your personal agent at Rollo Insurance to make sure you are considering all the facts and possible ramifications of this decision.
Again, if you were to be injured by another vehicle while riding a bike, walking, or riding as a passenger in another car, you will want to make sure you are covered for any potential medical costs. Even if you and your parents ultimately decide to remove you from their auto policy, be aware that many insurance companies will not allow a licensed driver in the household to be removed from the policy once he or she has already been listed on the policy. This action would be company-specific, so be sure to ask your Rollo Agent to check the rules as they apply to the specific carrier with whom you’re currently insured.
Insurance is too often commoditized, but that is not Rollo Insurance. While these FAQs may answer some or all of your questions, it is still best to review your individual insurance needs with your personal agent at Rollo Insurance. We’re educators and we have the blessing of living, working, and serving in the same area as you. We value the privilege of working with you and look forward to continuing to build a relationship that will serve you well as you embark on more milestones in the coming years.
Information provided in this article does not constitute professional advice. If you have legal, tax or insurance questions, you need to contact a qualified professional.