Many of our clients are calling with questions regarding their college bound students. Here are a few of the questions we have received and our reply.
My daughter does not own a car. Should I keep her on my auto policy if she is away at college?
Many parents remove their college bound child from their auto policy to save money. We recommend not doing so. When your child comes home, he or she may want to borrow your car. More likely, while away at college your child may borrow a friend’s car for some emergency or even drive a friend’s car when the friend has had too much to drink. Worse yet, your child may be a passenger in a car of an irresponsible driver. If your child is not covered by your policy, he or she will be liable for injury or damage to another, or may be left uncompensated for injuries caused by a friend or other negligent driver.
We recommend a minimum insurance coverage of $100,000.00/$300,000.00, with additional Uninsured Motorist coverage. Such coverage only costs a little bit more than minimum state required insurance of $15,000.00/$30,000.00 and ensures adequate coverage for any injury or damage your child may cause and insures your child is personally covered for any injury he or she may sustained while driving or as a passenger. Uninsured Motorist coverage pays for damage to the car caused by a negligent uninsured driver as well as injury to your child. If the negligent driver has minimum insurance the Uninsured Motorist coverage will pay for your child’s injuries up to your policy limits. That is why we recommend 100,000.00/300,000.00 coverage. Contact your insurance agent to discuss these issues.
My child will be living on campus. Does my child need renters insurance?
Most homeowners policies cover your child for personal liability and may cover some of your child’s personal property even in a dorm. If your home owner’s policy does not offer such coverage ask your insurance agent for extended coverage. If your child rents an apartment or lives off campus, it is a good idea to have him or her purchase renters insurance. Most homeowner policies cover computer loses but may limit the dollar amount or deny coverage if the electronic device is away from the insured home. Make sure the renters insurance policy provides for alternate housing in case of fire and includes liability coverage in case a friend gets injured in your child’s apartment. Check with your insurance agent.
My son took his car to college.
Do I need to change his auto insurance coverage?
Are you listed as an owner of the car or a co-signer on the car loan? If so, make sure you have adequate coverage as you may be liable up to $25,000.00 for any injury or damage your child may cause. Make sure you have Comprehensive insurance coverage which covers the car if stolen, vandalized or is physically damaged by means other than a collision. This way you are not stuck with a loan and no car. Again, we recommend a minimum of 100,000.00/300,000.00, with Uninsured Motorist coverage for the health and safety of your child. If you have any questions call Hamilton & Associates, APC for a free consultation.