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AAA Mid-Atlantic: College-Bound Students –
Protect Your Property - Theft is Top On-Campus Crime
PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 4, 2017) – The transition from high school graduate to new college student is an exciting milestone, and moving away from home is part of the process for many. AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds college students and their parents/caregivers of an important step before heading off to school, one that very few think of: review your insurance policy.
A 2015 Consumer Reports article says that dorm rooms can be a hot spot for thieves. Two roommates could have as much as $6,000 worth of electronics alone – laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems – as well as other items of value in their small living space.
According to U.S. Department of Education data of crimes reported on college campuses, theft of personal property is the most common crime, followed by motor vehicle theft.
“College students living away from home should know they may have limited coverage under their parents’ insurance policies,” said Tom McManus, vice-president of Insurance for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Before leaving for college, students should check to see what risks and liabilities are covered.”
Homeowners and renters insurance tips for students:
- If you live in a dorm, some personal possessions may be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policies. Expensive items such as computers and other electronics may be subject to coverage limits under a standard homeowners policy, and some states require a special student endorsement.
- If you live off-campus, purchase renters insurance. Renters insurance is necessary to protect you and your belongings, and can protect you from liability in the event that someone accidently gets injured on the property.
- Leave valuables at home. While some valuable items, such as laptops, may be needed on campus, items such as expensive jewelry may be best left at home.
- Create a “dorm inventory.” Create a detailed inventory of all items you’ll be taking with you, including photos and receipts. In the event that you need to file a claim, an up-to-date inventory will help make the process easier.
- Safeguard your items from theft. Always lock your dorm room door and never leave belongings unattended on campus. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the library, dining hall and other public places are the primary areas where property theft occurs on campus.
Auto insurance tips for students:
- Coverage may depend on whether you leave home or stay in the area. If you bring a car to campus and remain on your parents’ policy, coverage likely still applies. If you attend an out-of-state school, make sure your insurance coverage follows you. It gets a little tricky if the student takes classes year round and does not plan to return home during the summers. Technically, they have relocated to their college location. It gets a little more complex if they have on campus or off campus housing.
- Check with your insurance agent. To see what discounts you may qualify for and to ensure you have adequate coverage while away at school, contact your AAA insurance agent.
If you have questions about any or are concerned about gaps in your existing coverage, please contact a local insurance agent at 866-AAA-4YOU, or aaa.com/insurance. AAA has also posted a helpful “Back to School” video at aaa.com/TV and a full Back to School insurance reference guide at aaa.com/Back2School.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.