College Notes

Before You Pack for College, Check Your Insurance Coverage Sending your kids to college is expensive. That's why it's important to protect yourself from additional, unanticipated expenses.

Does your insurance cover your child's health expenses while away at school? Does your homeowner’s policy cover damage or theft of personal possessions in the dormitory?

Here are some things to check before your college student moves on campus.

Homeowners Insurance Review your homeowners insurance to determine exactly what's covered in your policy.

Remember that there are coverage limits on certain items. More students these days think computers and mini‑refrigerators are necessities in their dorm rooms. If the value of dormitory possessions exceeds the specific figure in your standard policy, you should consider buying additional coverage.

Make a list of the possessions your son or daughter is taking to college. Note the items, original cost and date purchased. You may want to photograph the items that are uncommon or particularly valuable.

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents recommends engraving valuable items such as televisions, stereos and computers with a social security number or other identification. This will help return the items in case they are stolen.

In the case of theft or damage, notify your insurance company or agent immediately.

Health Insurance Talk with your insurance agent or company to check if you should continue coverage of your child on your own policy or purchase a college-sponsored policy.

Remember that college sponsored coverage usually expires on the date of graduation. It could be several months after graduation until the graduate gets a job and is eligible for a group health plan.

If students are covered by their parents' individual policy, the students often have the right to purchase the same coverage in their own name after graduation. Coverage through an individual policy generally ends when the child is 19 years old, even if the child is a student.

In general, under a group policy, children are covered until age 23, as long as they are still single, financially dependent and full-time students.

When you pack up your college bound students and send them off with their possessions, do so with peace of mind and accurate information on insurance coverage.

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