Homeowner’s Insurance: College Students

Posted on January 5th, 2016

Your kid is about to leave for college, and you are worried about how you are going to pay for renter’s insurance. You know, they will have people going in and out of their room constantly, and you do not have a clue who to trust. You do not know any of the families or the kids themselves. How are you going to pay for this new expense? Did you know though, your homeowner’s insurance will cover up to 10% of your policy if your college student does have an theft or incident occur to their property?

Do you really need it?

Yes. When my mother was in college, she had a pipe burst above her dorm room while she was on break for school. When she returned, most of her belongings had been damaged. She had just returned from studying abroad in Japan and had left many of her souvenirs in her dorm room. She lost almost everything because she did not have renters insurance and either she did not know her parents home insurance covered her property or the insurance did not cover it at this point. It is not unheard of for accidents like this to  happen while your student is at college. While a damaging event is highly unlikely, theft is not. 91% of property crimes occur on-campuses according to the Campus Safety and Security Data analysis tool. People walk in and out of rooms all the time in college. I could easily have 50 people through my room in a day, and friends are not the most stable thing in college. It can be hard to know who to trust, but theft should not be something that plagues you or your child’s mind while at college. Having insurance on your child’s property while at college will ease your mind, and if something were to happen, it would be covered.

Covered or Not?

Most homeowner insurance will actually extend over to your college student as long as they are in a dorm on campus. It should not cost you anything extra, but it will only cover up to 10% of your full policy. Cataloging  what your child is taking to college before they move in is important. You will know what they have taken and how much of it will be covered. College students have a tendency of over packing their dorm room so taking the time to catalog everything will help them cut things down as well as making sure it all is covered. Always call your insurance company and ask about whether your homeowner’s insurance will extend to cover them or not. Policies do vary from company to company. Better safe than sorry.

dorm coverage

What are your other options?

Your Homeowner Insurance does not cover your student. Now what? What do you cover your college student with? You have two options:

  1. Renters Insurance- This is a separate policy from your homeowner’s insurance, but it would be a similar coverage. This would also be the coverage for your student if they live off-campus. Its average cost varies between $15 to $30. It is not much a month and will definitely save you money if you do have issues arise.
  2. Dorm Insurance- The deductible will be as low as $25. Depending on your policy the cost with vary, but a $5,000 with the $25 deductible could cost as low as $140 a year. This could be your best option depending on the time you will be needing the insurance.

Watch what they take

The best policy though is watch what they take. There are just somethings you should not take to college. There are pretty pricey items most people do take to college such as their car, their laptop, their phones, etc. Try to refrain from taking extra valuables such as heirlooms, jewelry you only wear sometimes, cash, and other irreplaceable valuables. If they insist on taking them, they should get a fireproof lock box. This way a thief will have to at least work to steal them.

Get your student insurance on them. The last call you want to get is, “Mom, Dad, I lost all my stuff in a dorm fire.” Call your agent today and see if your homeowner’s Insurance extends to your college kid.