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College students urged to review insurance

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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Heidelberg University in Tiffin (Photo courtesy Heidelberg.edu)

It’s that time of year for college students and their parents to do an insurance review before the school year gets underway.

Whether your student will be on campus or participating in online classes, students and families need to be prepared, the Ohio Department of Insurance says.

“The pandemic has altered all aspects of society but what hasn’t changed is the importance of reviewing your insurance needs with an agent to ensure you have appropriate financial protections,” Froment said in a press release. “I strongly encourage college students and their parents to begin that process now, and to have pandemic-related insurance discussions with not only an insurance agent but also school administrators.”

Froment provided these insurance tips for different types of coverage:

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.

Homeowners and Renters Insurance

  • Parent’s policy: A parent’s homeowner’s 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 renter’s 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 homeowner’s 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 homeowner’s 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.

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

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