Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Stuff (& the Computer) at College?

September 17, 2014

student insurance at college

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/

If you’re like many of our homeowners insurance clients here in the Mohawk Valley, you’ve recently left your son or daughter off at college. If it’s a first for your child, you’re very likely proud but also a bit apprehensive. How will they do academically? Socially? Will they be safe?

Most of all you want them happy and successful. But while you’re unloading the car full of stuff and hauling it into the dorm room, it may occur to you, “What if something happens to all of this?”

Thing is, not only will your son or daughter be required to have a laptop, but they’ll have clothes, lamps, chairs, and even appliances. Kids like to have an iron for their clothes and a small refrigerator for snacks.

And you may be shocked at the cost of textbooks. Depending on the courses they take, they can spend anywhere from $300 to $600 per semester for textbooks and course materials.

So, what if your daughter’s laptop is stolen or all of her stuff is destroyed in a dorm fire? Fortunately, your homeowners insurance policy with us actually stays with your child (or should we say “young adult”) at college.

Here’s What to Look For on Your Homeowners Insurance Policy…

All of the homeowners policies we offer at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig cover property at an insured’s residence other than the residence premises. This would include your child’s dorm room. The dollar amount at the dorm or in other campus housing would be 100% of Coverage C – Personal Property.

What if he or she lives off campus? The coverage is different in this case with the off campus coverage amount 10% of Coverage C. So, if you have $100,000 of personal property insurance, your child has $10,000 coverage on his property in his off campus apartment.

One thing to remember is that there are the same restrictions on certain property at the dorm as there are at your home. Jewelry, money, silver, and other property have limits. But, it’s probably not a good idea for your children to keep valuable items at school anyway. There’s too big a risk that they’d become lost or stolen there.

Something parents don’t usually think about but is also included in the homeowners policies we offer clients in Central NY is Liability Coverage. Your child could be sued for hurting someone else or damaging his or her property. A roommate could slip and fall on your child’s upturned rug or they could get into some kind of altercation and hurt someone.

The nice thing about our clients’ homeowners coverage is that you and your relatives who are residents of your household are all covered for liability. If your children are still your dependents and permanent residents of your household, they are insureds even though they live temporarily at college.

The only thing to be careful of is that there is no liability coverage for business pursuits. If your young entrepreneur is selling products from their dorm room and is sued as a result there would be no coverage. This is the same Business Pursuits Exclusion that applies to you at home.

All of the above applies whether your children live in a dormitory, fraternity or sorority house, or in an apartment on campus or in town.

But what happens after they graduate and move on? No matter what job they get or what city they end up in, they can get the protection they need for their property and liability with a Renters Insurance Policy. They are inexpensive and very comprehensive.

More on Renters Insurance in a future post.

Until next time,

Your SZW Team

Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig, Inc. is your New Hartford area independent insurance agency. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. You’ll be glad you did.