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What Insurance College Kids Need and Tips to Save

Make sure you don't skimp on insurance needs for your college student. Laura answers a listener question about how to handle vehicles for students and shop for insurance. Plus, you'll learn other important considerations to protect your belongings and liability when you have kids away at school. 

By
Laura Adams, MBA
10-minute read
Episode #503

Does a College Kid Need Renter’s Insurance?

Now that you know the most important considerations for auto insurance, let’s review what to do about home or renter’s insurance before your child goes off to school.

Some policies provide a percentage of the family’s personal property limit for registered students. For example, if you have $50,000 in personal belongings coverage on a home or renter’s policy, your student may have 10% or $5,000 in off-premises insurance.

However, many categories of home and renter’s insurance—such as computers, electronics, sports equipment, and jewelry—come with coverage caps. And some policies won’t cover a student in certain cases, such as when they reach a certain age or move to off-campus housing.

See also: 4 Major Disasters Homeowners and Renters Insurance Won’t Cover

If your student lives on campus in a dormitory, they’re usually covered by your home or renter’s policy (assuming you have one) for disasters like theft, fire, or storm damage. But if he or she moves out of student housing, they’re no longer covered under your home or renter’s policy, and needs their own coverage.

Having a renter’s policy for your off-campus student is inexpensive and would help pay to repair or replace any expensive items—such as computers, phones, furniture, bikes, musical instruments, and clothes—if they were destroyed, lost, or stolen.

Having a renter’s policy for your off-campus student is inexpensive and would help pay to repair or replace any expensive items—such as computers, phones, furniture, bikes, musical instruments, and clothes—if they were destroyed, lost, or stolen.

Renter’s insurance also gives your college kid liability coverage if a visitor gets hurt or a party guest has a little too much fun and gets hurt. It also provides funds for living expenses if a student’s off-campus apartment or rental home becomes uninhabitable while repairs are made after a natural disaster.

See also: 5 Ways to Save Money on Home Insurance

How to Shop Insurance for Your College Kid

Shopping for insurance takes a little time, but can really pay off. I always recommend getting at least three quotes so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison of different insurers.

Check out sites like insuranceQuotes.com and netQuote.com for auto, home, renters, health, and life insurance policies. These companies match you with a network of nationwide insurers, agents, and brokers who do business where you live and give quotes and advice for free.

Insurers evaluate you differently and offer different discounts, so no two policy quotes will ever be the same. So, the best way parents of a teen driver or college student can save on insurance is to make sure they understand how insurance works, have the skills to stay safe, and shop around every year to compare multiple quotes.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlersbook is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.