Parents reminded to re-evaluate insurance needs for college bound children
News: 2014 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Parents of college students need to make sure they have enough insurance to cover the unexpected, whether it is a stolen computer, an on-campus auto accident or a medical bill for a late-night trip to the emergency room.
As California students leave home 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.
"Smart phones and tablets, bicycles and HD TVs can be expensive to replace if lost in a burglary or fire," said Commissioner Jones. "Check your policy carefully to see whether your child'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' homeowners insurance policy. But students living off-campus may not be covered. Knowing what coverage you have is an important first step, and renters 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.
- Take photo or a video inventory of your belongings with your smart phone and save your digital inventory in the Cloud.
- Make sure any inventory includes the make, model and cost of an item.
- Mark all the property in a way to discourage anyone from taking it and to help identify you as the owner if stolen property is recovered.
- Inform your auto insurance company if you leave your car parked in an alternate location, for an extended period of time such as when you go away to school.
Before you purchase insurance, you should check out the license status of all the parties involved including insurance company, agent or broker. You can do this by visiting our Website at www.insurance.ca.gov or calling our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 (HELP).
- Fact sheet on renters insurance. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/03-res/res-ins-guide.cfm#rentersinsurance
- What they didn't teach you in high school about insurance. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/teachhighschool.cfm
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.