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Thursday, September 4, 2014

College Students – Are They Covered Under Their Parent’s Policies?


They have finally spread their wings are have left the nest.  Well sort of.  They have moved truckloads of stuff from their home to their dormroom or an apartment while they are attending college.  Neither of you have considered thinking about insurance!  So, is this a problem? 

Does your student have protection under the parent’s home insurance policy while they are at college?  The answer is IT DEPENDS!  You will need to review your own policy contract for your specific coverages, however, most home policies do provide coverage for an insured’s personal property that is damaged of lost due to a covered peril.  In English, this means that a dependent child away at school is still treated like a member of the household from an insurance standpoint, and their contents would be covered under their parent’s policy for theft, fire, vandalism, or any catastrophe covered under their parent’s policy, HOWEVER, (you know there has to be a HOWEVER), there will be limitations.  Most policies will provide coverage up to 10% of the parent’s limits on contents, which should be sufficient, unless your student took more than a truckload or two to school with them.  Other limits come into play if the student is not enrolled full time or is over age 24.  Again, check your policy, and get advice from your Trusted Choice Agent.  A great article was just published by Independent Agent Magazine which you may find helpful (http://www.iamagazine.com/strategies/read/2014/09/03/is-a-homeowners-policy-inadequate-to-cover-a-college-student-) .

You may also want to consider special coverage for expensive electronics and computers, and take other physical security steps such as password protection, gps locator software, and online backups for the data.

The student’s contents may be covered, but what about liability protection?
This may be one of the bigger exposures – excessive parties cause damage to the apartment or the accidental flooding of the apartment below from an overflowing tub, or inadvertent burning of popcorn in a microwave starting a small fire which smoke damages several units in the complex --- all of these scenarios and more can result in a hefty price tag for Mom and Dad.   There are limitations on liability for another premises under a home policy.  Some companies allow an endorsement for extended liability, but many apartment complexes have begun require proof of liability coverage, and the extended liability may not be acceptable.  In that situation, a very inexpensive renter’s policy is available which would provide the protection.  Check with your Trusted Advisor.

Does your student have protection to drive the roommates vehicle under the parent’s auto insurance policy while they are at school without a vehicle? 
Generally, if someone lends out their car, they are also lending out their insurance, and if your student is a regular driver of the roommate’s vehicle, there is a great chance that coverage will be denied under her roommate’s policy, and there may be a gap between your policy and the other party’s policy.  There are ways to work around the exposure by adding an endorsement to your policy, but again, check with your Trusted Choice agent to find the best solution for your situation. 

Does your student have protection to drive a parent’s vehicle while they are away at school? 
There is typically coverage for a distant student with a family vehicle.  Just be sure you let your Trusted Choice Agent know to modify the “garaging address” on your policy for the physical location of the student’s vehicle.

Lots to consider now that Junior is growing up …

Your Trusted Choice Insurance Agent, SouthGroup Insurance Gulf Coast wants you to know you can call on us with your questions or concerns seeking more helpful advice or answers to your pressing insurance questions. A full insurance review is always your best bet to make sure you have all of the adequate coverage for your personal insurance needs. Remember, we offer a personalized insurance review to anyone who is interested at no charge – just visit any one of our 3 convenient coastal locations!

We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com
,  SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Brittany Jones, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Mark Strickland, and Whitney Zimmerman at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: info@southgropugulfcoast.com , phone: 228-466-4498 fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel !

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