As Students Head to College, Darras Offers Tips on Insuring Your Kids and Their Possessions

College students have more possessions of value than their parents realize; experts at DarrasLaw recommend getting the right insurance.

August 12, 2013

As college students prepare to head back to school, shopping for school supplies and dorm room accessories are on the top of their to-do list. During the midst of all the chaos, insurance is often left in the dust and not a top priority for students or their parents. Yet, there are nearly 4,000 fires each year in university residence halls and over 12,000 thefts. Looking at these statistics, it's easy to see the need for insurance to protect student's property.

"College students have more possessions of value than their parents realize. When you think about the cost of that brand-new Macbook, a closet full of clothes, the latest and greatest smartphone, and of course those outrageously priced textbooks, the numbers really start adding up. Your student can easily have $10,000 worth of belongings in even the tiniest of dorm rooms," says Frank N. Darras, America's top disability lawyer.

If the student lives in a dorm, but maintains the parent's residence as their primary address, then the homeowner's insurance policy may cover their possessions in the dorm room or even in off-campus residences. This would cover the belongings in the case of theft, fire or another similar event.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, "some policies limit such coverage for personal possessions, usually to 10% of total coverage". This means that if the policy provides $100,000 worth of coverage for belongings in the main household, only $10,000 would cover the child's on-campus belongings.

Policies may also limit coverage for more expensive possessions like computers and electronics. If this is the case, then floaters or stand-alone insurance would have to be purchased in order to protect these items. Adding a simple add-on is usually inexpensive and could cost only a few dollars extra per month.

"If your child has more than $10,000 worth of possessions or decides to live in off-campus housing then you will likely need to purchase renter's insurance. Renter's insurance is pretty inexpensive, usually ranging from 15 to 30 dollars per month. If you bundle the policy with your own homeowner's insurance, you can pay even less," says Darras.

Accidents happen and college campuses make belongings easy targets for theft. Consumers should make sure to check in with their insurance companies to ensure their policies cover their college student's belongings.