AAA: Protect Your College Bound Student Against Number One Campus Crime
Minor Adjustments to Insurance Policies Could Protect Against Major Loss
Hamilton, NJ, August 20, 2019- 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 of important steps – which very few think of – before heading off to school: review your insurance policy. 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.
According to Consumer Reports, dorm rooms can be a hot spot for thieves. Two roommates could have $6,000 or more worth of electronics alone – laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems – as well as other items of value in their small living space.
“Smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming systems are tempting, lucrative targets for thieves,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Sadly, the theft of personal property can swiftly set a student back thousands of dollars. It’s critical that electronics – and vehicles – be properly insured”.
With all the prep that goes into packing up their college-bound kids, AAA says, parents frequently overlook making important adjustments to insurance policies that would cover such a loss.
College students living away from home may have limited coverage under their parents’ policies. Before setting off for school, parents and students should check to see what risks and liabilities are covered.
AAA offers the following tips for college-bound students:
- If you live in a dorm, some personal possessions may be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renter’s insurance policies. Expensive items such as computers and other electronics may be subject to coverage limits under a standard homeowner’s 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 is accidently injured on the property.
- Leave valuables at home. While some valuable items, such as laptops, are essential on campus, items such as expensive jewelry and electronics 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.
- 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 insurance agent.
- Discuss letting others borrow the car. Unlike a AAA membership, car insurance follows the car, not the driver. If your teen loans his car to a friend or roommate and there’s a crash, the crash will go against whoever owns the vehicle – which is usually Mom and Dad. That could make for higher premiums, possibly a totaled vehicle and overall bad feelings.