Study Up: Insurance Tips for College Students
With rising tuition costs, hard-to-find housing on and off campus, and the high cost of textbooks, sending a child off to college involves a flurry of financial considerations. With your son or daughter moving out and moving on to this new stage in life, college insurance may not be the first thing on your mind. However, we recommend protecting yourself financially at every stage of life, and that includes college students.
Fiscal responsibility is part of becoming an adult, but unfortunately it is not something that can be taught in a college course. College campuses are major targets for property theft and damage. In 2014 alone, there were approximately 14,000 burglaries on U.S. college campuses according to the U.S. Department of Education. It is important that college students are properly insured and take precautions to lessen the likelihood that they will become the victim of a theft. To ensure that your son or daughter's transition to college is as seamless as possible, we’ve pulled together a few safety and insurance tips for college students:
Homeowner's Insurance On Campus
Many homeowners insurance policies extend protection to students who live on campus in student dorms at no additional cost. Make sure to check in with your insurance agent to find out if your current policy extends to your child's dorm room.
Renter's Insurance for Off-Campus Living
If your child chooses to live off-campus, they will most likely be renting. Many insurance companies offer affordable renters insurance, which provides protection to personal property at a relatively low cost.
Leave the Car at Home. Save Money on Auto Insurance.
Many college students drive rarely during the academic year, but take that long trip home for winter or summer break. Some auto insurance plans offer discounts for families whose children go off to college. Because of their limited driving, families can often limit payments while still providing coverage for college students. Research the rates of the city and state in which your child's college is located when considering whether it makes sense for your child to take their car to campus. Since many campuses are conveniently located, it may make sense for your son or daughter to leave their car at home during the academic year.
Always Lock Dorm Room
Keeping the door locked is the first line of defense when it comes to theft. Have your child establish this rule with their roommate. Other students on their floor or guests who have entered the building can steal property in under a minute if a door is left unlocked.
Keep a Personal Inventory
A personal inventory is a catalog of your most valuable property that provides documentation should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to make a home or renters insurance claim due to theft. This handy guide from the Insurance Information Institute can help you and your child create your own personal inventory quickly and easily.
Use Credit Wisely
Credit cards provide an opportunity to learn about managing credit, but come with the danger of debt if not managed carefully. For young students, college loans, grants, and scholarships are the first large sum of money for which they are personally responsible. Students are also often targeted by ad campaigns for credit cards. Since many insurance companies will look at credit history when determining what a person will pay for insurance, it is important that students keep this in mind when using credit in college.
Never Leave Your Bag Unattended
College campuses are a major target for bag theft, as students often carry around expensive books, laptops, and other materials. Students should never leave their bag unattended for even a moment while eating in the cafeteria, sitting on the quad, or studying at the library.
College gives students the opportunity to pursue their passions while becoming financially responsible and independent. Don’t let financial damages get in the way of your child's pursuit of knowledge by ensuring they are protected with insurance. Grange Insurance Association provides insurance packages that can help you stay protected in every stage of life. Contact one of our local independent agents to learn more about homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and auto insurance packages that are perfect for college students.