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Is your College Students Insurance Adequate?

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COLUMBUS — Ohio Department of Insurance director Jillian Froment is reminding college students and their parents to ensure that adequate insurance protection is in place for the upcoming school year.

“An insurance review with an agent should be part of getting ready to go back to school,” Froment said. “Both students and parents will have that much more peace of mind knowing they have an up-to-date financial protection plan.”

Froment shared the following insurance insights:

Health Insurance 

  • Dependent coverage: Any insurance plan or issuer that offers dependent coverage must remain available until the dependent reaches age 26. If it’s a managed care plan, the student could be outside the provider network and would have to travel within the network area to receive routine and lower-priced in-network care.
  • Student health plan: Most colleges and universities require students to have health insurance.  Students without dependent coverage may opt to purchase a student health insurance plan.  Many colleges and universities offer comprehensive plans and also provide a number of resources for parents and students to evaluate what option may be best for the student.  
  • Dental and eye care: Routine dental and eye care generally are not included in a health insurance plan, although many colleges and universities offer dental and vision coverage options.  Check with the school to learn more about the plans offered for students.

Homeowners and Renters Insurance 

  • Parent’s policy: A parent’s homeowners insurance policy may cover their student’s personal possessions – for example books, bicycle, computer, television, furniture and clothes – in the event they are damaged, destroyed or stolen, as well as liability when living in an on-campus dorm. The parent’s policy will typically not provide personal property or liability coverage when the student lives in off-campus housing.  Check with your insurer to determine if a renters policy should be purchased.
  • Special coverage limits: A typical homeowners insurance policy restricts coverage for certain types of personal property at or away from the residence.  Depending on your specific policy, purchasing additional coverage may be necessary.  When purchasing this additional coverage, talk to your agent to learn more about your policy.  Be sure to inform your agent if the living arrangement will be on or off campus.  A parent’s homeowners policy may not provide any coverage for personal property for any off-campus housing.   
  • Renters insurance: Renters insurance can be secured to insure personal possessions and provide liability coverage in the event the student is held liable for causing bodily injury, property damage or financial loss to others in an off-campus living arrangement such a rented apartment, condominium or house in the absence of parent’s homeowners insurance.  

Automobile Insurance 

  • Vehicle at school: If a student plans to take a vehicle to school, talk to your agent about whether remaining on the family policy or securing their own policy is the best approach.
  • Vehicle not at school: If a student decides not to take a car to school, advise your insurance agent or company of the change because there may be an impact to your insurance premiums.
  • Discounts: Insurance companies may have discounts for students who show certain academic progress.

Athletic Competition and Sanctioned Events 

  • Talk with a college or university official and an insurance agent about the insurance protections for athletic competition and when traveling for any type of sanctioned event or function.

People with insurance questions can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 and visit www.insurance.ohio.gov for information.

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