Are you looking forward to college and the new freedoms it brings? Whether you are attending UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University, or MATC, your time away at school will likely be your first experience living on your own. Part of that experience will include taking on more responsibilities and making a lot of decisions on your own without mom and dad’s help. However, mom and dad will still be there for financial support to one degree or another, and insurance plays an important role in that support. And while their insurance will protect you against to some degree during your undergraduate years, continue reading to find out whether your parent’s insurance will protect you from all of your financial risks while away at college.
Does a Parent’s Homeowners Insurance Cover My Property and Liability Needs?
Homeowners insurance will typically cover your personal property and liability needs in college within certain parameters. Specifically, coverage is usually reserved for students attending school full-time and living in campus housing. If you plan to live off-campus or otherwise attend school part-time (12 credit hours or less per semester), you will need to purchase renter’s insurance protection. If you find that you do qualify for coverage under a parent’s homeowners plan, personal property benefits are still generally capped between 5 and 10 percent of your parent’s personal property coverage. Furthermore, liability is typically limited to damages caused by fire, smoke or explosion – not a dorm or frat party that got out of hand.
Considerations When Taking Summer Classes
It may seem like a good idea to attend school full-time during the spring and fall, and then remain on campus throughout the summer to take a few classes and work part-time. While this is an effective way to catch-up on credit hours and earn your degree faster, it also changes your status from full-time to part-time by definition. For insurance purposes, this can spell trouble if your dorm is burglarized or you suffer some other type of personal property loss normally covered under a parent’s homeowners insurance policy.
Staying on a Parent’s Auto and Health Insurance Plan in College
Many students opt to remain on a parent’s auto insurance if possible, as it is typically more affordable to purchasing a personal plan. Though qualifications and requirements vary between insurers, most companies will allow a student to remain covered under a parent’s auto insurance so long as they are under age 25 and attending a school within 100 miles of home. If you attend school further away, you may be able to remain on your parent’s policy as well, but you’ll want to check with your insurance agent to be sure.
As for health insurance, federal law requires insurers to allow adult children to remain on a parent’s health insurance plan until at least age 26. While you have the option to purchase your own coverage at any time, staying on a parent’s health plan can provide significant savings on monthly premiums. Just make sure to search for healthcare providers who participate in your parent’s plan network. It does no good to have insurance without access to a doctor or hospital that accepts it.
Can You Stay on Your Parent’s Insurance Plan during College?
If college is in your near future, let Smith Insurance and Financial Services guide you through the insurance process. We can review your parent’s policies and help you determine if additional coverage may be right for you. From renters insurance and auto insurance to health insurance and more, we can find the coverage that meets your needs. Call us today to speak with a helpful agent. We look forward to serving you soon.