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What to Know About Your College Student’s Personal Belongings and Liability Exposure

What to Know About Your College Student’s Personal Belongings and Liability Exposure

Good morning! With back to school time rapidly approaching, let’s take a moment to discuss kids away from home and how their personal belongings and liability exposure might be covered.

If you do not have kids at school, hang with me — you might to able to glean some information that can apply to some other situation, or you can educate a friend.

If you have kids living away from home (typically in college) there are two things that need to be addressed for coverage. The first is their personal property, and the second is any liability exposure.

As far as personal property, the parent’s homeowners insurance policy usually responds to cover the student’s belongings. The policy might react differently depending on whether they are in a college dorm or an off-campus apartment. Coverage varies from carrier to carrier, so this is definitely a topic to discuss with your agent to get the particulars.

The most common situation is that the parent’s homeowners policy will provide 10% of the personal property limit for someone living away from home on a temporary basis. We do hear a lot of comments about college students not having anything to insure, but keep in mind that designer clothes, computers, televisions, video games, and more can add up fast.

The other avenue to consider, especially if the student is in an apartment situation, would be for them to have a renters insurance policy. First, they typically have more things if they are living off-campus, which leads to the need for more coverage. Second, they have probably signed a lease, which may create some liability exposure. Again, this is a conversation for your specific agent, because the parent’s policy may react in a different way depending on the language and definitions. Ultimately, the best way to make sure that any liability exposure that comes with a lease is addressed would be to have a renter’s policy in the student’s name.

These situations can also arise with non-students as well. Maybe your son or daughter lived at home for a while after college or when they were in between jobs, and they used your home as a residence address. Perhaps it was the same with your parents — did they live with you for a while and now are moving to assisted living?

Do these scenarios need separate renters coverage? All of these situations are a little different and can vary depending on your unique situation. The best advice, as always, is to give your agent a call to discuss your options. We will help structure the coverage properly.

Thanks again for allowing us to insure your families.

Jon

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