Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance for Dorm Coverage

You’ve filled out the FAFSA, navigated financial aid and cleared registration. Then you plunked down many dollars for clothes, room items and other essentials. Next, come big bucks for books. You’ve put a lot of time and money into sending junior off to college. So, did you call the insurance agent yet?

Most people assume that their homeowner’s policy also has their student covered at college. For the most part this is correct. Typically, your homeowner’s policy extends 10% of your home’s contents coverage to dorm rooms. That means that if your policy covers $70,000 of the contents of your home, it will then cover $7,000 for dorm rooms.

Don’t assume from the example above that your student is covered for $7,000. You must check with your insurance agent—your values could differ. 

Note that this is for dorm rooms only. A few years ago, my niece’s off-campus apartment building caught fire. Her parent’s homeowner’s policy did not cover any of it. What she needed, but didn’t have, was renter’s insurance.

Also, if your son or daughter has any particularly valuable possessions you may need a rider to cover replacement. In my niece’s example, she not only had the typical computer and stereo equipment, she also had an expensive violin. All of it was gone.

In addition to securing proper insurance coverage, follow these types for keeping your stuff safe at school.

  • Don’t bring expensive items to school if it isn’t necessary
  • Personalize items as much as possible.
  • Keep a list of all serial numbers in a safe place.
  • Always lock the doors
  • Get to know other students on the floor and in the dorm
  • Don’t let strangers into the building
  • Don’t flaunt or draw attention to expensive items.
  • Invest in a good bike lock and lock car doors.
  • Don’t leave expensive items out in the open – especially in a car.
  • Keep track of backpacks or laptop bags.  

One Comment

  1. universityphoenix
    Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great article, it’s always important to buy enough coverage for your laptops and gadgets. More importantly though liability coverage will protect you if someone slips and falls on your property or a dog bites a guest at your house while living off campus.

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