New College Students and Insurance: 3 Crucial Concerns

Source: The Hanover Insurance Group

At this time of year, many new high school graduates are preparing to move away to college, and just like with other major life changes, this transition can affect your insurance. When it comes to new college students and insurance, there are several crucial concerns that The Hanover Insurance Group points out. Use the following advice from The Hanover to minimize the new risks that accompany college life and ensure that you and your child remain protected.

Property Damage

According to The Hanover, the average college student brings between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of personal property to college, which includes everything from technology, electronics and textbooks, to clothing, furniture and bicycles. Unfortunately, the majority of students will suffer a loss at least once, with theft representing the most common cause.

Most homeowners insurance policies, The Hanover said, classify a student’s possessions as “personal property located off premises” and provide coverage for up to 10 percent of the home policy coverage value. Listing the student’s residence as an insured location on homeowners and umbrella insurance policies adds a level of protection.

If your child will be living off-campus, renters insurance represents another option. This type of policy typically provides both property and liability coverage. Just like it’s a wise idea to keep an updated home inventory to serve as proof of purchase for the items reported in the event of a property claim, The Hanover also recommends taking time to create a “dorm inventory” with purchase prices, model numbers and photos before packing.

Sharing Vehicles with Friends

As a general rule of thumb, auto insurance follows the insured vehicle more than the driver, according to The Hanover. In other words, if a student brings a car to college and loans the vehicle to a friend, he or she is also loaning the car’s insurance, and could end up with a claim in the event of an accident.

Similarly, liability laws follow the car’s owner, but can impact a driver as well. As a result, The Hanover said that it is important to keep a student covered on the auto policy even if they are not bringing a car to school. If your child borrows a friend’s car and causes an accident resulting in serious injury, both you and the car’s owner can be sued. To help reduce the cost of keeping your child on your policy while he/she is away at school, some insurance companies will allow you to put a “hold” or reduce coverage while your child is away, especially if the college is more than 100 miles away.Identity Theft

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the 18-29-year-old age range accounts for 24 percent of all identity theft complaints. Before your child heads off to college, The Hanover recommends educating him or her about the potential lasting issues identity theft can cause. To help reduce identity theft risks, The Hanover advises students against carrying social security cards or even their social security number. It’s also important for them to avoid sharing credit cards, identification cards or PIN numbers with anyone, even a friend.

At Barton Insurance, it’s our job to ensure that you and your loved ones remain covered throughout all of life’s changes. To learn more about new college students and insurance concerns, and how this change will specifically affect your coverage, give us a call today at 603-526-6991 or submit the contact form to the right. For additional insurance information and other useful resources, please review our other blog posts, or connect with us on Facebook.