SCC offers insurance advice for parents whose students are heading to college

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August is when many students head to college, some for the first time. In addition to new classes, instructors, friends, and accommodations, this period may also bring new insurance needs.

The State Corporation Commission’s Office of Insurance encourages Virginia families with college students to ensure their college readiness checklist includes a thorough review of their own insurance needs as well as those of their students.

“Protect yourself and your family financially by making sure your student has the insurance coverage they need before they leave for college,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Review insurance coverage for their health, automobile, living space and belongings and make sure they understand their coverage.”

The Bureau encourages parents and students to shop around for insurance coverage and compare premiums and policy terms. Read any insurance policy carefully and make sure you understand what is covered, as well as the exclusions, deductibles and limits. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your agent or insurance company. Additionally, the office offers the following insurance considerations for parents and students:

Health

College students have several options for obtaining health insurance. Under federal law, students can remain covered by their parents’ health insurance until age 26. If your student remains on your health insurance policy, make sure they have a copy of all insurance cards and understand what services are covered, as well as know how to get referrals, if needed. , before seeking treatment.

Under some health insurance policies, your student will have to find a doctor or hospital that is part of your insurer’s provider network – except for emergency care – or pay more out of pocket if a provider is outside of it. of your insurer’s network.

Students who do not have health insurance through a parent’s policy, or who have limited coverage due to provider networks or service areas, may choose to purchase a student health insurance plan through their college or university. Students may also be eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow them to purchase private health insurance through the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov.

Personal property and housing

Students often take many valuables with them to school, such as laptops, printers, cell phones, televisions, gaming devices, and bicycles. When reviewing your insurance needs, consider how much it would cost to replace everything in your student’s room or apartment in the event of theft or damage.

For students who live in on-campus student accommodation, their parents’ homeowners or tenants’ policy may cover their property in the event of theft or damage. However, some policies may limit the amount of coverage provided. Certain items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, may require special coverage. In the event of a claim, deductibles may also apply.

Students living off-campus should consider tenant insurance, which generally covers the tenant’s personal property and insures the tenant in case someone is injured in the rented premises. Landlord policies generally only cover the structure, not the tenant’s belongings. Renters insurance premiums vary depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the value of the tenant’s belongings.

No matter where your student lives, they should have a list of their belongings. A personal property inventory will help you and your student determine how much insurance you need. In the event of a claim, the inventory can facilitate the claims process. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a free smartphone app that makes it easy to create an inventory.

Auto

For students planning to bring a car to school, parents should ask their agent or insurance company for availability of coverage – as well as rates for the city and state where the vehicle is located. college – before deciding whether or not to keep the student’s car on the family policy. . If your student is attending college in another state, make sure you know that state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage. Also, check with your agent or insurance company for good student discounts on vehicle insurance premiums for students who maintain good grades and eligibility requirements.

Students whose names appear on the title of a car must purchase their own auto insurance policy. However, they may be able to stay on their parent’s policy if their parent owns the vehicle they will be using at school. Tell your insurance agent where the vehicle will be stored if the address is different from the one on the policy.

For more information, call (877) 310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.

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