College students are going back to school both local and afar … what are the inherent liabilities that you should look out for? The first issue is what happens to your children’s belongings when they are away at school in a dorm or in an apartment setting?

All parents’ homeowners’ policies will afford coverage for both liability and property coverage in a temporary dorm setting, yet caution should be taken should they have expensive computer or sports equipment that could be stolen. Most homeowners’ policies will pay actual cash value or depreciate at the time of loss, or settle a loss on a named peril basis. Both of these scenarios can cause reductions in potential settlements, or worse yet, no coverage being afforded. To ensure proper coverage ask your agent to put these “special” items on a floater policy, which can be endorsed to the base homeowners’ policy.

If the child is taking a year-to-year lease on an apartment and staying year around, it may be advisable to take out a separate tenant homeowners’ policy since some carriers may not consider the year-to-year lease a “temporary residence,” and nullify any potential claim. Health insurance can be an even bigger issue if your child is going to a different state for their higher education. Your current health carrier networks may not work in these new locales, leaving large bills should medical advice be needed. Most universities have plans available at a reasonable cost, or your current carrier may have an “out of area” network that might suffice. In either of these cases, it pays to have a conversation with your agent before a problem arises.

So call your agent or representative today!

Kirk Kneller
Phone 518.329.3131
1676 Route 7A, Copake, N.Y.