News: 2011 Press Release
For Release: August 18, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Urges Parents To Re-Evaluate Insurance Needs For College-Bound Children
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today urged college students and their families to make sure they have enough insurance to cover the unexpected, whether it is a stolen computer, an on-campus auto accident or a huge medical bill for a late-night trip to the emergency room.
As California students head for college this fall, many of them - as well as their parents - may be unaware that their possessions may be unprotected on several fronts. In some cases, parents' auto, property or health insurance policies may not apply to their children once they leave home for campus.
"Most family policies extend health coverage for dependents until age 26. However, it's important that you carefully check your current policy to see if there are any geographic limitations that you need to be aware of," said Commissioner Jones. "It's also recommended that you check to see what the university's health plan offers as well."
For many students, their most valuable asset is their automobile. Although auto insurance is expensive, it is the law, and it is well worth the expense. Many students don't realize they need to inform their auto insurance companies when the car is parked in an alternate location for an extended period. Commissioner Jones also reminded parents of the importance of taking stock of their children's property insurance needs.
"iPods, computers and TVs can be expensive to replace if lost in a burglary or fire," said Commissioner Jones. "Check your policy carefully to see whether your student's belongings will be covered in on-campus housing."
If a student is living on campus, he or she may be covered under their parents' policy. But students living off-campus likely won't be covered. Knowing what coverage you have is an important first step, and this type of insurance is a relatively easy solution. The premiums for renters insurance average between $15 and $30 a month, depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the policyholders possessions. There are also specialized college student policies now being marketed to students on campus, which charge a flat fee for a small amount of coverage. Student policies often range from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on your coverage and deductibles.
The Department of Insurance offers several tips to help students and their families understand insurance policies and what steps to take to make certain they have adequate protection. These guides, along with an inventory packet that make it easy for students to record their possessions, as well as the following "quick tips."
- Take pictures of your belongings, print them out and label
- Fill out an inventory list, including make, model and cost of the item
- Store your inventories and photos in a safe deposit box.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.