Whether it’s your first, your only or your fourth time, getting your student all ready to send off to college that first time can be a lot of work, even for even the most organized of parents. As if finding the right college and getting all the various forms completed on time, student orientations, various supplies, dorm furnishings wasn’t enough work--there’s more. Wrap everything up into a nice, round ball. Now, add insurance coverage, which not uncommonly gets overlooked, amid the freshman-readiness frenzy. This is a pretty important time to make sure your kid is properly covered.
An Important Time Examine Insurance Matters
By the time your kids are leaving for college, they are, by law, covered by car insurance. While who pays what while he or she is away at college is up for negotiating, the issue of obtaining a proper life insurance policy in addition to the right health insurance now present a bit of a different angle for addressing. Your student’s school may offer an affordable form of health insurance for enrolled students.
While the provisions offered by the various insurance companies remains the same, from state to state, there are specific laws made at the state level that can mean big differences in insurance policies, state-to-state, between fact and fiction, absolutely influencing what deep talker Dennis Haysbert promises on one commercial, the infamous, late nite (“hideous” sounding) “Jake” offers on the other end of the phone convo, and things any one of “Flo’s” characters assures us we’ll get when covered by her company.
State to State Responsibilities and the Fine Print
So, let’s say your family lives in Nevada, and your academically brilliant prodigy was accepted at Stanford University in California. Insurance in Nevada comes under the jurisdiction of Nevada legislation, and is not the same as insurance in California. And this is a good time to inspect the coverage details. And for students who will be participating in athletics for their college, make sure they understand about Workers’ compensation insurance, especially as the compensation amounts can vary from school to school.
What’s Covered, and Where
When a family member, such a student remains on your policies or picks up paying for their own coverage with the same state-issue policy, there are important details to know, as there are out-of-state obstacles that can present huge problems. For example, your health policy in the state where you reside might have your back for sudden emergencies and treatment, but for all other care, may require you to remain within your home state. In one case involving an insured’s emergency surgery while visiting another state.
The surgery itself--including the life flight helicopter ride--was covered. When his surgical wound ended up requiring beyond-normal care, it then fell into the category of non-emergency, meaning that in order for his critically necessary wound care to be covered, he needed to drive three hours away. Had he known this in time, the instant and staggering debt resulting from out-of-state treatment could have been better managed, in one way or another.
The Dorm Deal
A good many freshmen live in dorms, and are covered under their parents’ homeowner’s policy, which presents the least complicated insurance transition, however certain specifics can affect this:
Today’s college students tend to bring pricey gadgets and equipment to school with them, and with the more open-door ambiance of college living, by adding blanket coverage for these items is quite reasonable, increasing your annual cost by $100 to $120, and is well worth every penny.
Many colleges forbid freshmen from having cars. If your student’s does, discuss possible discounts to reduce your current auto policy where possible.
For students taking along a car to college, parents need to cover the importance of proper routine and maintenance, and accident protocol, that includes how to submit an insurance claim.
For the Off-Campus Student
A student moving off-campus will no longer be covered under their parents’ policy, and will need to purchase a renters’ insurance policy for their property while they are living in a rental situation or frat/sorority house. It’s affordable and can be modified to cover additional specifics. Your agent can alleviate your concerns and make all the options easy to understand.
Job Well-Done, Mom and Dad!
Going to college is a big step toward adulthood. Making sure your student is up to par on the adult responsibility of insurance will be another feather in your hat showing you’ve done a superb job of helping them make the transition knowledgeably and confidently.