Navigating higher education and insurance coverage
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - College is a time full of new experiences, and one learning curve for many families is insurance.
It’s one thing you want to learn about sooner rather than later.
The State Corporation Commission advises families to consider health, home or rental, and auto insurance.
Young adults may stay on a family health insurance plan until they are 26, but it’s important to make sure there are in-network health options near the institution. Health insurance may also be available through the college or university.
When it comes to housing, students may be covered if their parents have a homeowners’ plan. However, they may still consider additional coverage.
“Certain items like jewelry or expensive electronics may require special coverage,” said Ford Carson with SCC.
For students living off campus, renters’ insurance will likely be a requirement.
“Students living off-campus should consider renters’ insurance, which generally covers a tenant’s personal property, as well as insures the tenant in case someone is injured on their leased premises,” Carson said.
In some cases, property owners will have insurance, but Carson said you should make sure your property is covered, too.
“If a landlord has any sort of policy in place, you need to check what exactly that covers because that may just cover the structure itself,” he said.
Auto insurance may not change when a student goes to college, but Carson said you should make sure the insurance company or agent knows where the car is being stored if it’s different than the address on the policy.
If the college is out-of-state, make sure the plan meets that state’s minimum requirements. Carson said families should also shop around to see if insurance rates are lower in the college town.
“Parents should ask their insurance agent or company about coverage availability, as well as rates for the city and state where the college is located before deciding to keep the student’s car on the family policy,” said Carson.
Since many companies offer student discounts, check with insurance companies, too.
Carson suggested everyone keep a list of personal property as well as how much it would cost to replace those items.
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