As your child heads off to college, the right insurance protection helps keep them healthy and financially stable. But what is the right insurance? One key coverage that many families may overlook is renter's insurance. Does your college student need it? Here's how you can decide.
When Renter's Insurance May Be Needed
If your student will head to off-campus housing, they likely need their own renter's insurance. Most insurance companies don't consider a person living in their own apartment or house to still be part of your household — which may disqualify them from being under your homeowner's insurance. And the landlord's insurance generally does not cover tenants' belongings even if it covers the structure they live in.
Similarly, their belongings won't be covered by any policy owned by a roommate, unless it's a joint policy. While a joint renter's insurance policy saves money, your child may need to be proactive to ensure that they aren't left unprotected if a roommate doesn't pay their portion.
Even if your child will live in campus housing, they may still benefit from renter's insurance. Many homeowner's policies have a strict limit on the coverage for those not living in the family home. If your coverage is low, the student's expensive devices, equipment for classes, or furnishings may be insufficiently covered.
When Renters Insurance May Not Be Needed
When might you be able to skip renter's insurance? The most common scenario is when your homeowner's insurance policy (or the parents' renters insurance) remains in effect for the student while traveling and living elsewhere. Most dorm housing residents fall into this category, but you should verify that with your insurance agent.
In addition to simply having a homeowner's policy, it needs to have sufficiently high coverage to match your child's college belongings. Coverage for those living elsewhere is often done as a percentage of the overall insurance limitations. If that makes the student's coverage too low, consider either adding a rider to the insurance or raising the family's dollar limits.
Where You Should Start
To find the right coverage, consult with an experienced insurance agent in your state. Each policy is different, so it's wise not to assume anything about your specific coverage. Don't have an experienced renters insurance agent yet? Now is the time to choose and work with one to help ensure that your entire family is protected and safe no matter what their future holds.
For more information about renter's insurance, contact a local insurance agency, like Woodmansee Insurance Inc.