Parents should re-evaluate insurance for college students |

Parents should re-evaluate insurance for college students

Tribune staff report

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, 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 HDTVs 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 coverage and deductibles.

The Department of Insurance offers several tips to help students and families understand insurance policies and what steps to take to make certain they have adequate protection.

Take photo or avideo inventory of belongings with a smart phone and save digital inventory in the Cloud.

Recommended Stories For You

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 the owner if stolen property is recovered.

Inform auto insurance companies if a car will be parked in an alternate location for an extended period of time.

Before purchasing insurance, check out the license status of all the parties involved including insurance company, agent or broker. Do this by visiting or calling the Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 (HELP).