As you prepare to pack your college freshman off to school, you’ve got a long “to do” list. Items to buy, details to iron out, lots of things to do…whew! It’s tough kicking your kids out of the house.
As you are purchasing their $1000+ laptop along with their dozens of other electronic devices (I-pads, phones, gaming systems, speakers, guitars, flat screen TV, etc) that also cost thousands of dollar, you might be thinking—Do I need some kind of insurance for this?
Do I Need Insurance?
Here are the facts. Fires and water damages occur on campus. A friend of ours told us that on their campus the sprinkler systems were tripped by a frisbee. 3 feet of water ended up in the first floor dorm rooms. Yikes!
Thefts occur in dorms. Roommates and sweet-mates steal. Doors are unlocked. Random people are in your room for study groups.
In a 2010 study 77,441 incidents of theft were reported on college campuses. Who knows how many unreported incidences there were.
The university will not be responsible for the theft or damage. The 2011-2012 On-Campus Housing Contract from The University of Connecticut states:
“The University assumes no legal obligation for damage, theft, or loss of personal property. The Resident is responsible for protecting and
securing any personal property located within any on-campus assignment and is encouraged to obtain appropriate insurance.”
So what is this appropriate insurance they mention? It’s up to you, but your child’s dorm may already be covered by your existing homeowners or renters insurance.
Check with your insurance provider and read the fine print. It is common for the policy to cover only 10% of personal items in the dorm room, but each provider will be different.
It could also be possible to get a rider or addendum to boost that amount. Again we’re only talking about living on campus, if they are off campus—they’ll need to get an additional renters insurance policy.
What About Dorm Insurance?
A few specialized companies sell dorm insurance to cover your child.
For example NSSI (not endorsed) has a policy that will cover $6,000 of Accidental Damage, Theft, Fire, Flood, Natural Disasters, Vandalism and Lightning Strikes. Deductibles range $25-$100 with decreasing annual deductibles $130-$146.
A separate renters insurance might provide more coverage and be less expensive, you’ll have to shop for yourself.
Do get some kind of coverage for worst case scenarios and peace of mind if your child will be living in a dorm. Either your own homeowners or renters policy or a separate policy.
So there, I’ve added an additional item to your summer list before you ship off your kid off to college. Enjoy your summer and send them off well.
Have you looked into insurance for your child at college? How will you insure the contents in your kids dorm?
Photo Credit cbowns (Creative Commons)