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Today's Family Magazine

Insurance coverage on the college campus

This is the time of year we often receive questions about the coverages needed to protect students who are away at school.  These requests are common for parents sending their children off to college for the first time.

Courts have long determined that a dependent child away at school is still legally a resident of their parents’ household.  In fact, with the policy contracts used by many insurance companies, there are situations where no additional coverage needs to be purchased.

On the most commonly used homeowners policies, a student under the age of 24 is covered by his or her parents’ homeowners policy as long as they are enrolled full-time in school and were a resident of the household before moving out to attend school.

So what coverages apply to your student while they are away at college?  First and foremost, they are protected by the personal liability section of your homeowners policy for bodily injury or property damage they cause.  However, it’s important to note that intentional acts are not covered.  Your son or daughter will be facing new responsibilities and exposures, so it’s a great time to consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy to provide an extra layer of liability protection for your family.

As far as all the gear that will be moved into the dorm room, coverage for personal property is available up to an amount that is equal to 10% of the personal property coverage limit on the parents’ policy.  Personal property includes things like clothing, small furniture and appliances, and electronics.  Of course, the policy deductible would apply in the event of a property loss, such as theft of personal property.

Electronics, such as a laptop or tablet, may be one of the greatest concerns.  Some insurance carriers allow these items to be listed separately on the homeowners policy so that a deductible would not apply to a loss.  However, I often discourage this type of coverage on most of these items as I think it’s prudent for policyholders to self-insure smaller losses.  Small losses may be looked upon unfavorably by insurance companies, may increase the premium at renewal time, or could even result in coverage being discontinued when combined with other losses.

In some cases, the student (or parents) may sign a lease for an off-campus apartment.  While it’s possible that coverage may still be available by way of the parents’ policy, this is often a good opportunity to equip the student with their own renter’s insurance policy to ensure that there’s no coverage question. 

The Corsaro Insurance Group would be happy to help you with all your insurance needs. 

Courtesy of the Corsaro Insurance Group and Central Insurance Companies

Matthew Corsaro is the president and owner of the Corsaro Insurance Group in Mentor, Ohio.  His company and staff have been providing insurance solutions to families and business owners for over forty years.  Mr. Corsaro has obtained the Accredited Advisor in Insurance and Certified Insurance Counselor designations.  Corsaro Insurance Group represents over 20 insurance companies.  As well they have expertise in all areas of auto, home and business insurance.  They can be reached at (440) 946-4950.