Many homeowners’ insurance policies will cover students’ belongings away from home. This isn’t always true though. Before your child heads off to school, you will want to find out what your homeowners insurance covers. The part of your homeowners’ insurance policy that you’re gong to want to verify is your Personal Property coverage – however, there are some things that you need to be aware of!
1. Homeowners’ insurance policies often place limitations on what personal property may be claimed. This is especially important if your child is heading off to school and taking valuable computer equipment with them. Check your homeowners’ insurance and see what the limitations are on electronics. If the limitations are in fact restrictive, you may want to consider renters insurance for your child.
2. Find out location limitations – each homeowners’ insurance company is allowed to put different limitations on their homeowners’ policies (and personal property). Some may state specifically that only items that are kept in the home are covered by the homeowners insurance. If you find this is the case, you’re going to want to look into the possibility of renters insurance.
3. Sufficient Coverage – If you have 2 or 3 children in college at the same time you probably need to verify with your insurance agent if your homeowners insurance personal protection coverage applies to each of them. While it’s highly unlikely that all 2 or 3 will have a problem at the same time, there’s no point in taking that risk. If only one child is covered you might want to consider renters insurance for the other child (or children).
Nearly all homeowners’ insurance has limitations on what it will and will not cover – whether it’s in your home or in a child’s dormitory. Make sure that you find out all of the restrictions and the potential problems that you might run into. Do not make the assumption that your homeowners insurance covers things, always verify them!
Homeowners’ Insurance versus Renters’ Insurance
If you’re trying to decide what’s best for your child using your existing homeowners’ insurance (increasing personal property limitations) or renters’ insurance the best option for you is to speak with your homeowners insurance agent and find out the cost of the two types of insurance. In some instances it might be more cost beneficial to you to increase your personal property amounts on your homeowners’ insurance.
If you decide that renters’ insurance is the most beneficial carefully review the renters’ insurance policy for all limitations. You may find out that things you anticipated would be covered are not. Remember that both homeowners’ insurance policies and renters’ insurance policies will have specific limitations on values (especially for jewelry, furs, and other luxury items). If your student is going to have a large screen television for example you may need to show proof of purchase to the insurance company before they will agree to increase your personal property coverage on your homeowners’ insurance policy (or renters’ insurance policy).