Your student is headed to college out-of-state. It’s a milestone, and you’re helping them set up all of the necessary items associated with that big move, furniture, textbooks, food, cleaning supplies, etc.
In the midst of all of your preparation, don’t forget one of the most important items – insurance. Whether they stay on your policy or decide to get one of their own, you want to make sure your son or daughter is fully covered in terms of car and home/renter’s insurance.
Here are some common auto insurance questions for parents of college students.
My student won’t have a car away at school; do I still need to keep them insured?
Some students drive thousands of miles away so they can have their car with them, but others would rather keep their cars at home, and opt for flying in and using public transportation when they arrive. To avoid overcrowding, some schools even set limits on who can have cars on campus.
If your son or daughter will not have a car at college, you should still keep your student on your auto policy. This will avoid a lapse in coverage, and he/she may need to drive in an emergency and also will be coming home for breaks. (If your child has a car that will be kept at home and not driven while he/she is at school, ask your insurance company whether you qualify for a discounted rate.)
Do I need to change my insurance coverage to the state where the college is located?
Since college is not considered a permanent address, your student can keep his state driver’s license and the car may be registered and insured in your home state. However, you will want to check the insurance requirements where your student is attending college—and make sure that your state’s policy meets their minimum standards in the event of an accident. Either way, make sure that you notify the insurance company that the car will be kept in a different state so that they may update their records.
Should my student get his/her own auto policy?
As long as your son or daughter is still living with you, and you own the car he/she is driving, there is no need to get them their own car insurance, unless you would like to. There also is no specific age where you have to make that transition. A common time to switch to their own policy is when young adults move from the family home to their own first apartment.
If your student is living off-campus, and maintaining that address year-round, you may consider a separate auto policy.
Are there any discounts that we qualify for?
Your student may qualify for a good student driver discount, available from many insurance companies with proof of grades. Ask your insurance agent for other discounts that may be available.
Don’t forget! If your student is enrolled in school full time, was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school, and is a relative 24 years or younger or 21 or younger and in your care, your California Casualty homeowner’s policy offers the personal property protection they need as well.
Whether your child stays in a dorm on campus or resides in a leased residence off-campus, 10% of your homeowner’s personal property coverage (coverage c) extends to their possessions while they are away. If you believe they need more than that 10% coverage – for expensive musical instruments or computer equipment – then consider adding a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy. With computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming systems, furniture and clothes, you would be spending thousands of dollars to replace your student’s possessions without this layer of protection.
You can’t be with them at college, but you can still protect them—with the right insurance.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.