Between admissions, financial aid, back-to-school shopping and moving in, it’s easy for families of the college-bound to overlook something critical: insurance.
It’s not smart to assume your student will be covered by existing policies, especially for students who are leaving home. Read through this rundown to find out what you need, and where you can save money.
1. Car insurance
If your student drives, car insurance is a must. However, you might be able to save if the student leaves the car to gather dust at home while attending college.
Such students might qualify for a “distant student” discount, especially if they live at least 100 miles away. Call your auto insurance company and ask. Just remember to make sure your student will remain covered as an occasional driver when he or she comes home for visits.
There might also be a separate discount for good grades. The rules for and sizes of these discounts vary by insurer and state, but you often can get a price break if the student maintains a B average or better.
On the other hand, attending college in a state that requires higher coverage levels can boost premiums. So can moving a car from a rural to an urban setting.
2. Health insurance
A full-time student may be covered by your health plan until age 26, thanks to changes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Just remember that your student will still have to find a participating doctor near campus.
Vaccinations are often a requirement for college admission. Fortunately, many vaccinations are covered as a part of the Affordable Care Act.
3. Property insurance
Students typically have a lot of valuables: laptops, smartphones, iPads, bicycles, flat-screen TVs and gaming consoles, to name just a few. And college campuses aren’t immune to fire, burglary and other tribulations.
If your student is living in a dorm, your homeowners policy likely covers their stuff. However, you should check to be sure and to ask about policy limits.
Living off-campus in an apartment? That may call for renters insurance. Shop around for the best price and, if it still seems too expensive, lower the monthly cost by raising the deductible.
For more, check out “How to Save Money on Every Type of Insurance.”
Do you have tips for insuring the college-bound? Share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Marilyn Lewis contributed to this post.