by Philip Sullivan, CIC, Personal Lines Manager on Aug 10, 2017
We printed this Q&A column in the Aug. 10, 2017, and Sept. 10, 2017 editions of The Lewiston Tribune.
A: This is the phone call you don’t want to get from your college student… “Hi dad, all my stuff got burned up in an apartment fire…. and…. I am being sued by the apartment owner because they say the fire was my fault!”
So, is your college student insured? Maybe or maybe not! Most parents rely on their Homeowners insurance policy to cover their college student’s personal liability and personal property (contents) away at school – BUT only limited coverage is provided. The typical Homeowners policy extends coverage to your student as an “insured relative” only under the following circumstances:
“They are a student enrolled in school full time, as defined by the school, who was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school, provided the student is under the age of: 24 and your relative; or 21 and in your care or the care of a person described as an insured relative.”
“Full time” enrollment and their “age” become the issues of concern. Your college student may have enrolled full time when they started the term but dropped classes and suddenly become part-time; or, they turn age 24 during the term – both would cause them NOT to be an “insured” of your policy and no coverage would apply.
How can you be sure your college student is insured? At some point every dependent child grows up. They keep their apartment at school year-round, find a regular year-round job and they quit coming home from college in the summer – or they drop out of school and live independently – or they graduate from college and live independently. To avoid the possibility of having on-again / off-again coverage extended from the parent’s Homeowners policy it might be best to get your student their own policy – a “Renters” Insurance policy.
Call an AMERICAN INSURANCE agent to get advice about whether extra coverage is needed for your college student. If needed, a typical Renters Insurance policy is under $150 per year - get your online Renters quote started here.
We also invite you to contact us for your inquiries about auto, home, business, medical and life insurance.
You can also read more of our Q&A columns published in the Tribune here.