Insurance and other tips for college students and their belongings
Understand how your homeowners insurance policy could protect your college student and their belongings while they're living in a residence hall or dorm room.
Sending your child to college is an experience that comes with exhilaration, stress and a measure of anxiety. Relieve some of that worry by knowing how your homeowners insurance policy protects your student and their belongings while they are away at college.
Does my homeowners insurance cover college students?
Most homeowners insurance policies, including those offered by State Farm®, offer coverage for college students. Check with your insurance company for specific information on how coverage is handled for college students. Here are some coverages from your homeowners insurance policy that might extend to a college student:
- Personal liability. The personal liability coverage on your policy may help if a guest is injured in your son's or daughter's dorm room or if your child accidentally damages school property. The policy may help pay for damages and might even pay for your student's legal defense in the event of a lawsuit.
- Medical payments to others. If the accident in your child's dorm room results in an injury to another, the standard homeowners insurance coverage may help pay for any medical expenses and hospital bills incurred.
- Personal property coverage. Typically, your homeowners insurance covers your student's personal property inside your student's residence.
Details tend to vary between homeowners insurance policies and often there are limits in place on personal property coverage outside of the home, so check the specifics of your policy with your agent to find out if your student is covered or whether you might need to purchase additional insurance coverage.
What questions should I ask my insurance agent about homeowners insurance and college students?
Before the school year starts, talk to a State Farm agent or another insurance agent to help understand how your homeowners insurance works with your college student.
- Is the liability limit for an accident in my child's dorm room the same as if one happened in my home? If it's not, or if you don't feel it's enough, you might want to consider a personal umbrella policy.
- What is the personal property coverage for my students belongings while away at school? Perform a home inventory of the items your child is taking to school. If you don't feel the homeowners insurance coverage is adequate, you might consider a personal articles policy to provide additional coverage for electronics, musical instruments or sports equipment.
- Does the homeowners insurance policy cover my student and their property if they live off campus? If not, a renters insurance policy can help protect against property loss and liability when your student lives off campus in an apartment or rental home.
- What if my student is taking their car to college? What if they leave it at home? If your student will be taking a car, truck or SUV to school, make sure he or she is adequately insured. Remind your child that insurance rates may be impacted negatively as a result of traffic violations — and positively with potential discounts for good grades.
What are some college safety tips I can share with my kids?
Give your young adults these safety tips to help keep themselves and their belongings secure while they're away from home.
- Tour the campus during the day to familiarize yourself with the facilities.
- Tell a friend or roommate where you're going before venturing out.
- Avoid leaving your electronics, school bag or other belongings unattended.
- Report suspicious people or vehicles to campus security.
- Avoid walking alone on campus, especially at night. If you don't have someone with you, call security and request an escort.
- Travel along well-lit paths around campus rather than taking shortcuts through side streets and alleyways.
- Be alert to your surroundings. Remove your headphones and pocket your phone.
- Keep your keys out when walking to your vehicle, dorm or apartment.
- Purchase pepper spray and a whistle to attach to your keychain or store in your bag.
- Lock all doors and windows when you're sleeping or away from your room.
- Never invite strangers into your apartment or residence hall.
- Take an inventory of the items you bring to school. Valuables should be left at home.
- Document the serial numbers on your electronics. Knowing these numbers could make the items easier to locate if stolen.
- Follow your residence hall's policy for cooking, extension cords and candles. If candles are permitted, keep a close eye while they burn and never leave a candle burning when you're not in the room.
- Only drink if you're of legal age, and do so responsibly. Pour your own beverages, keep track of your glass, and arrange for a designated driver or rideshare service to take you home.