Across the country, millions of college students and their parents will pack up a car full of belongings and drive that young adult off to school for another year. However, what they might not know is how those students are protected when it comes to standard home insurance coverage once they head off to school. In some cases, policies taken out by parents will cover kids even when they’re away at school, but not always. As such, insurance agents may need to do a little more client outreach to ensure that they’re helping people understand what their policies do and do not cover, not only in these cases, but for other situations that typically arise over the course of the year.
Insurance data shows that the average college kid heads off to school with some $10,000 worth of stuff, from clothes to computers and more, according to a report from the consumer finance site Bankrate. In addition, there are about 40,000 incidents of theft on college campuses each year – about 110 per day nationwide – meaning that these young adults could be at greater risk than they or their parents might think.
What everyone should know
It’s often wise for parents who are unsure about their kids’ insurance coverage while at school to check in with their agents or insurers on the subject, the report said. In general, high-priced items might be covered on a standard policy if a child is living on campus, such as in a dorm. But things get a little more difficult to navigate when kids live off-campus in apartments or houses; in most cases, such losses wouldn’t be covered, and parents or students will have to take out renters’ insurance in addition to whatever home insurance policies may be in their names. The good news, though, is that this kind of plan often costs as little as $25 or $30 per month in many cases.
However, it can be a good idea for college students or parents to likewise document all the belongings being brought to school, with photographic or video evidence, the report said. This way, if anything is stolen, it’s easy for them to prove what’s gone missing and how much it’s worth.
What can agents do?
The more insurance agents can do to help people understand their coverage overall, the better off both parties are likely to be going forward. It’s always going to be beneficial to consumers if they know the ins and outs of their plans, including what they do and do not cover, but the reason it’s beneficial to agents as well is quite simple. Studies have shown that people with a better knowledge of their policies, and stronger working relationships with their insurers or agents, tend to have better opinions of those plans. As such, outreach of this type could help to buoy not only customer satisfaction ratings, but client retention rates as well.