My daughter went away for college and is no longer considered a dependent. Should I buy an insurance policy to protect her belongings?
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Asked February 11, 2013
If your child is no longer a dependent, most insurance companies are going to insist on writing a separate policy to cover their personal property. For dependent, full time students, a homeowner's policy would extend coverage for them, but this is not the case once that child is out on their own.
Typically, homeowners insurance will cover your dependent children's property in a college dorm. If the child lives off-campus, then she would need to get renters insurance quotes. Insurance companies view a college dorm as being low risk as well as promoting low risk behavior, while a college student who lives off campus may be a higher risk neighborhood or enjoy partying and other behavior that increases the risk to insurers.
Another suggestion is to look at the coverage for things such as a laptop computer. Some homeowner's policies have strict limitations on the value of personal property they cover away from the home. If your policy has such restrictions, it may make senses to purchase a rider policy to increase coverage for your student who attends full time courses and lives in a dorm. If she stays off-campus, adding the rider to her renter's policy may still be a low-cost way to make sure her more expensive possessions are protected.
No matter what type of insurance you are talking about, health, home, or car, your insurance company is going to draw the line at coverage when they "leave the nest." They can stay on your insurance until they turn 26 as long as they are your dependents, but must get their own coverage when they become emancipated and are responsible for paying their own bills.
Answered February 11, 2013 by Anonymous