Do you have a teen starting college? Maybe you’ve purchased them a brand new laptop and printer for school. Are you wondering if these valuable electronics would be insured from theft, vandalism, or a fire?

If your child continues to live in your household, his or her belongings are covered under your policy.

If your child stays in a dorm room on campus and you, the parents, have renters or homeowners insurance for your home, your insurance policy will extend to cover their belongings. Most carriers generally provide up to a 10% limit on your personal property coverage. That means, if your renters or homeowners policy has a limit of $200,000 for personal property, there will be coverage for up to $20,000 for your child’s belongings. Keep in mind that coverage is subject to your renters or homeowner’s policy deductible, usually $500 – $1,000. Check with us to make sure the personal property limit on your homeowner’s policy is adequate. You might need additional coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, musical instruments, or certain sports equipment.

If your college student lives in his or her own place off-campus or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get a little trickier. You might have to set up a separate renters policy for your student. That will not only cover his or her “stuff”, but also provide liability coverage in case somebody gets hurt in their place. In addition, many landlords have made renter’s insurance a requirement of the lease. Renters Insurance policies are usually quite affordable, generally less than $15 per month.

Will your child return home or travel abroad for longer periods of time as part of their college experience? If they leave their belongings behind in a dorm or fraternity/sorority house for more than 45 days, your homeowners policy will no longer cover those belongings. In that situation, it’s important to either ship the belongings home during extended absences or temporarily store the items in a commercial storage facility.