Many Kansas families have students going to college this month. With the necessities of college life—clothing, electronic equipment, more clothing, more electronic equipment...remembering to pack everything is always a challenge. But in the rush to pack, don’t forget to add “insurance” to the list of necessary items.
The following insurance tips for both parents and college students originate from information compiled by the Kansas Insurance Department and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Check for details with your agent. If your student is taking a vehicle to school, check with your local agent about the current vehicle insurance policy. If you ask about the rates for the college’s city that may help you decide whether to keep the student’s car on the family’s auto policy.
Look for the good student discount. Make sure your insurance company is notified each semester if your student maintains good grades. Getting a good student discount on the vehicle’s premium saves money.
Make it easier to report an accident. Installing the WreckCheck mobile smartphone application from the NAIC gives both the student and parents an outline of what to do immediately following any vehicle accident. The free app helps you create an accident report.
Know your landlord doesn’t protect your personal property. You should realize that a landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover a renter’s personal belongings. Also, make sure to take photos or video of the possessions, and store an inventory list in a secure location.
To print an easy-to-use home inventory checklist and get more tips about disaster preparedness, visit www.ksinsurance.org. Smartphone users can complete an electronic property inventory by using the myHOMEScr.APP.book application from the NAIC.
Finally, ask if your homeowners insurance policy will cover the belongings in the student’s car or rental trailer before he/she gets to campus.
Know the limits of identity theft insurance. With constant cybersecurity concerns, identity theft coverage is certainly a consideration. Identity theft insurance is limited, however. It can’t protect parents or students from becoming victims of identity theft, and it doesn’t cover your direct financial losses. It does provide coverage for the cost of reclaiming a person’s financial identity —making phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work without pay, and hiring an attorney.
The primary policyholder of your homeowners policy should check first to see if the policy includes identity theft insurance while the student is away from the family home. If a student is renting an apartment, ask if his/her renters insurance covers identity theft, or if that could be added to the policy.
Realize health insurance options. Nearly all young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plans because of federal health laws.
At school, students should have copies of their insurance cards and know how/where to seek medical treatment.
If the student is insured through a network of medical providers, check to see if he/she will be in or out of the network service area while at school. That will make a difference in how much you or your student will have to pay for out-of-pocket charges.
Dental and Eye Care
Routine dental care and eye care generally are not included as part of a health insurance plan. Also, most health insurance plans do not cover expenses related to periodic eye examinations, glasses or contact lenses, but most will cover medical care as a result of an eye disease or injury.
Preparing to go to college can be stressful for both students and parents. However, knowing that the student and his/her belongings have proper insurance coverage relieves some of that stress.
For more, visit our department’s website at www.ksinsurance.org, call our Consumer Assistance Hotline at 800-432-2484 or see our videos on YouTube.