ASK KIM


Insurance Coverage for Freshmen

Kimberly Lankford

My son is about to start his freshman year in college. Will my homeowners insurance cover all the things he's planning to bring to his dorm room?



My son is about to start his freshman year in college. Will my homeowners insurance cover all the things he's planning to bring to his dorm room?

Your son's stuff is probably safe. Children are generally covered by their parents' homeowners insurance if they're living in a dorm. But ask your agent or company about any limitations. Some policies, for example, limit protection to 10% of your total coverage for possessions.

Your homeowners policy generally won't cover a child who lives in an off-campus apartment. In that case, buy a renters policy, which tends to cost $200 to $300 per year and will cover his stuff as well as liability if anyone is injured in his apartment. Be sure to tell the insurer whether your child's name is on the lease.

While you're talking with your insurer, also ask about auto insurance discounts. If your son moves 100 or 150 miles away for college and leaves the family car at home, your auto insurance premium may drop by up to 30%, yet he'll still be covered when he's home on vacation.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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