Since the start of the new school year is coming up soon, we’ve answered some common questions that students have about insurance when heading off to college.
HOME & PROPERTY
Do I need renters insurance for my dorm/apartment?
If you live in a dorm, your belongings can be covered under your parents’ homeowners insurance, but only up to the limit specified on their policy.
Consider purchasing student personal property insurance if you would like more coverage. Student policies also typically have much lower deductibles, which is perfect for students who can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket.
Students who rent their own apartment will often be required to have renters insurance, but this depends on their lease.
Can I share my renters insurance with my roommate(s)?
Yes, many companies will allow this, and splitting the cost on one policy can save you money. However, consider the potential long-term consequences. If your roommate has a claim, that claim will go on your record, too. For this reason, it may be better to have your own policy. Additionally, if you or your roommate move out, you’ll need to make sure you and your roommate agree on how to handle the insurance.
Can I stay on my parents’ car insurance policy when I go to college?
Students can typically stay on their parents’ insurance policy as long as they are living at home at least part-time (e.g., during seasonal breaks).
Will car insurance be more expensive when I’m in college?
Your insurance rate may change depending on whether you are taking the car with you to college or leaving it at home. For instance, if you live in a rural area and you are taking your car with you to a school in an urban area, your premium may increase, as accidents are more likely to occur in urban areas.
Are any student discounts available?
Yes, many insurance companies offer a “good student” discount for car insurance when you earn good grades. In most cases, you will be eligible if you maintain at least a 3.0 (or a B average).
HEALTH & LIFE
Do I need health insurance?
Taking care of your health should be a priority. If you get sick or injured and don’t have access to proper treatment, you could risk getting worse. You might have to miss your classes, which are costing you thousands of dollars.
However, you do not necessarily need your own policy. The Affordable Care Act mandates that all insurance companies allow children to stay on their parents’ policy until the age of 26.
Nonetheless, if staying on your parents’ policy isn’t an option, there are several alternatives. Check if your college offers a health insurance plan. These can be affordable, but rates vary depending on your school. You can also purchase individual health insurance; you may want to do this with an independent agent so that they can easily compare prices.
Should I get life insurance?
Life insurance costs less when you’re young and healthy, as you are at a lower risk of illness or death, so it would be wise to take advantage of this. It’s especially helpful if you live with roommates that depend on you for rent, utilities, etc. They would have much less financial stress if something were to happen to you.
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