Are your children covered when they go to college?

August 31st, 2017

A question parents don’t ask, but should, is “Will our kids be covered under our Homeowner’s and Personal Auto policies while they are away at college?” The answer might be “yes”, “no” or “maybe”.


Many insurers have their own company-specific forms and their policy provisions may change. As always, please consult your insurer for any policy changes as their terms and conditions might be the same, broader or more restrictive than what we discuss below. 


Homeowners’ Policy 

Q: Will my child’s “stuff”, clothes, computer, TV, books, etc., be covered under our Homeowner’s policy while they are away at college? 

A: The Homeowners’ definition of “insured” includes “a student enrolled in school full-time, as defined by the school, who was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school, provided the student is under the age of 24 and your relative. If your child meets all of those requirements, they would be covered under your homeowners policy. 

However, the coverage could be limited since the “stuff” wasn’t located at the insureds’ residence. Typically, personal property not located at the insureds’ property is 10% of the limit of liability for Coverage C, or $1,000, which is greater. What does that mean? Say your home is insured for $200,000 and you have a personal property limit of $100,000, the “stuff” belonging to your child is limited to $10,000. 


TIP: If your child is living in an apartment rather than a dormitory and qualify, purchase a Tenant Homeowners Policy. 


Personal Auto Policy

Q: Will my child be covered under our Auto Policy if they take a car to school?

A: If the car is titled in your kid’s name, then they will need their own Auto policy. 


Q: What if my kid is taking a car owned by us (the parents)? 

A: They will be covered under your Auto policy. 


TIP: Many times parents of college kids think if they transfer the auto insurance to their kid, they are getting rid of the exposure. Not true. In order to transfer the auto risk, you have to transfer the title. 


If you have any questions, please contact us to discuss your specific policy.