AAA is reminding parents packing up their college-bound kids that, even as they let them go, they can still offer some protection. There are three types of ‘insurance’ that, AAA says, college students should have.
According to the US Department of Education data of crimes reported on college campuses, theft of personal property is the most common crime.
“College students living away from home may have limited coverage under their parents’ insurance policies,” said Greg Lauria, Regional Manager for AAA Insurance. “Parents should check their homeowner’s policies to see what risks and liabilities are covered.”
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.
Homeowners and renters insurance tips for 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 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.
Motor Vehicle Insurance
The second most common crime against college students, according to the same crime data report, is motor vehicle theft.
AAA recommends talking to an agent about what changes, if any, need to be made to the insurance policy for your college-bound student.
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.
The ‘insurance’ of AAA Membership/Roadside Rescue
Whether your student is taking a car to school or not, AAA Emergency Roadside service travels with the student, not the vehicle, so even if he/she gets stranded with a friend, the AAA membership means they can call for help.
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