Does My NH Homeowners Insurance Cover My Child While Away at College?
Having your child leave the nest to go to college is an exciting time for both of you, but also brings up some important questions. Is your son or daughter still considered a member of the household for insurance purposes? Do you need to buy a separate policy to cover your college bound son or daughter? As with many issues regarding insurance, the answer is....maybe.
When your NH homeowners insurance covers your college student:
If you are a homeowner and your son or daughter lives in a dorm, your policy will most likely extend to their personal property as well. This means that if their laptop were stolen, there would be coverage, subject to the policy's deductible. Please keep in mind that any theft does require a police report.
When your NH homeowners insurance May NOT cover your college student:
If your child opts for off-campus housing like an apartment or perhaps a fraternity or sorority, they are essentially establishing their own residence and would most likely need their own renters policy.
One thing to keep in mind is that most college students have roommates, but a renter's policy will only cover the belongings of the "insured" and not other roommates just because they all live together. That means if there are four roommates, four tenants policies are needed.
How do I make sure my college student's lap top is covered?
Typically the most valuable item brought to college is a laptop. Whether coverage is provided from your own homeowners insurance or a renters policy, the laptop is covered under the personal property section and subject to the deductible. Keep in mind however that it will typically only be covered for the specified perils listed in the policy like theft, fire, wind damage, etc., but you may be able to broaden this coverage. We suggest you call your insurance representative to get more information on your particular situation and insurance company.
Another important consideration is that most policies will not cover most accidental damage, like a cup of coffee spilled on a laptop and virtually no policy will cover the process necessary to recover any data lost on a lap top.
How much does renters insurance cost for a college student in NH?
The cost of NH renters insurance is primarily based on how much coverage is needed. You will want to have your son or daughter consider what they are bringing (including clothes, furniture, books, stereo, etc.) and then put a value on it. Insurance companies will not typically write the policy for less than $15,000 in coverage and should cost between $150 and $200 a year. For more information on renters insurance in NH, please read a prior HPM Insurance blog titled "Why Every NH Tenant Needs Renters Insurance."
If your son or daughter is going to college out of state, they would need to obtain a policy from an agency and/or carrier licensed to do business within that state. Many agents are licensed in multiple surrounding states, but not all states, so give your agent a call to see if they can help or direct you to a reputable agent elsewhere.
Other insurance considerations for your college student:
When your son or daughter packs up and leaves for college, another consideration is whether they are bringing a car or not. It is important to figure this out sooner rather than later as some colleges want proof of insurance to park on campus. If your child is living in an apartment out-of-state with a vehicle they own, they may be required to register and insure the car within that state. For more information regarding this issue, please read a prior HPM Insurance blog titled "How Your Graduate Impacts Your Car Insurance."
The transition from high school to college is a big one for parents and students alike. Start this transition off right with the confidence that you and your child well protected.