College Student Insurance Needs: What to Consider for Auto and Renters Policies
Consider these factors before making any insurance policy changes.
Having a kid in college comes with plenty of concerns, including what kind of insurance they need when at school. Should your son or daughter remain on your policies? Should they have their own auto insurance or renters insurance? Here are some key factors to help you decide.
While removing your college student from your auto insurance policy can help you save money, it may not be the wisest choice. The deciding factor largely depends on how often your student may drive:
If your student won’t drive: With no car at school and no plans to drive someone else’s vehicle, you may opt to exclude them from your auto policy. Ask your insurance agent if this can be temporary. However, if your child attends school near you and may come home and drive, or if they often ride as a passenger in another vehicle, you may opt to keep them on the policy to keep coverage consistent. There isn’t any harm—though there is a cost—in retaining your child on your auto insurance, even if they aren’t driving regularly.
If your student may drive: Even without a car, your student may need to drive a friend’s car during an emergency. Here, it’s best to keep them on your insurance policy.
If your student plans to drive: It’s wise to keep them on your policy. They could get their own auto insurance policy—and will need to if they aren’t considered your dependent—but as a “high-risk driver” (a young driver without much experience), they may face expensive premiums. If your student remains on your auto insurance policy, there still may be a way to save money. Check to see if they’re eligible for “good student” discounts (based on academic performance) or “student away from home” discounts (based on how far away the school is).
Renters insurance helps cover personal possessions like clothing, jewelry, computers and electronics from loss, damage and theft. Whether your student needs a policy depends on their plans for housing.
If your student lives on the school’s campus: If you’ve listed your child as a dependent, they are likely covered by your home or renters insurance policy. However, off-premises coverage would apply and your policy likely has limitations—you may only be eligible for 10 percent of off-premises coverage. Getting your student a renters insurance policy is the best way to ensure that their possessions are fully covered in a dorm.
If your student lives off campus: Your insurance policies will not cover your son or daughter, so they will need their own coverage. It is possible for your student to share an insurance policy with roommates, which can help to save on cost. But any insurance claims submitted by a roommate will stay on your kid’s record and could potentially have negative implications.
If your student lives at your home: Typically, your student is covered by your home or renters insurance policy if you’ve listed them as a dependent. They do not need their own policy as long as they remain under your roof.