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Homeowners Insurance and the College Bound Kid

It’s that time of year again. A new crop of freshmen are headed off for their first year at college and their parents have questions. Kids have a lot of expensive stuff these days: laptops, flat screen TVs, gaming systems, MP3 players. Is any of that covered by their parents’ homeowners insurance?

If the college-age child lives in a dorm room, the parents’ homeowners policy should cover those possession to a degree. Although numbers should always be verified since provisions vary from company to company, in general, dorm room possessions are covered up to 10 percent of the total insured amount of your home’s total contents.

So, if your homeowners policy covers possessions in the home up to 70 percent of the total policy, on $100,000 coverage, the home’s contents are covered up to $70,000. Run the math out and that would mean the contents of the dorm room would be covered up to $7000. In most cases, that’s adequate for the replacement cost of electronics.

If the college-age child lives off campus, however, presumably in an apartment, the parents’ homeowners policy will not cover the contents of that dwelling. In that case, a separate rental policy would be needed. Expect to pay $200 a year or slightly less for this type of policy, which generally provides coverage in the amount of $30,000 for possession and about $100,000 for liability.

With all the other preparations that go into getting your chick out of the nest and off to school, don’t forget to find out what your homeowners policy does or does not cover and in what amount. Tuition and books are expensive enough without having to replace everything in your son or daughter’s dorm room or apartment.

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