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Experts urge parents to add dorm insurance to back-to-school list for college-bound students

Posted at 6:25 AM, Aug 16, 2022

CLEVELAND — As we near the start of the school year, many parents have their school supply checklists checked off.

But there may be something missing.

What about dorm insurance?

State experts say this is a good time to make sure your college student is protected if something goes wrong while away at school.

A parent’s number one job is to protect their child, especially when they leave the nest and trade in the family home for a college dorm. Yet, what about the things they take with them like their textbooks, laptops, or furniture? How can you as a parent help protect those personal belongings? According to Nationwide Insurance, looking over your homeowner’s policy is a start.

“They have those conversations with them about personal safety and they're thinking about that,” said Sarah Jacobs, VP of Product Development at Nationwide Insurance. “So just as an example, Nationwide's policy extends typically extends that liability or contents coverage to your child under the age of 24 if they're away at school on a full-time basis.”

Though Jacobs warns, insured customers need to read your policy terms very closely because there could be some limitations. She says depending on the deductible, your child’s smaller items may not be covered if, for example, they were stolen.

As Jacobs explained, “it's just important because thefts and accidents can happen anywhere."

The National Center for Education Statistics reportsnearly 10,000 burglaries and robberies were reported on campus in 2019, which is only a fraction of the nearly seven million property crimes across the nation reported that same year to the FBI.

Jacobs went on to explain, “that’s when people sometimes look into the dorm insurance policies. So, these are something that are really typically offered through the college. It's also something that an agent can advise you on, or you can do some research online. But these really may help fill those gaps in the homeowner's coverage and often at a lower deductible.”

While dorm coverage may be key, it is not free. Jacobs is urging families to avoid buying or being sold on more than what is needed. She says bundling coverage can help and some companies nationwide do offer student discounts.

So, if don't have access to drive your vehicles, you can actually get a discount for your student being away at school on your auto policy. Then, we always encourage people to explore Nationwide's usage-based insurance offerings,” she said. “Make sure that you're getting all of those discounts that you're eligible for.”