Monday, August 29, 2011

Insurance and college students

As students head off to college, here are some things to consider:

Health insurance:
  • Federal health care reform now means that your children, up to age 26, can stay on your health insurance plan. That's likely to be the option that provides the most medical benefits.
  • Another option is to buy an individual insurance plan for the student. 
  • Or you could consider a student health plan, typically offered by the college. Be aware that these policies tend to have limited benefits and more exclusions than traditional health insurance plans.
Renter's insurance:
  • If the student lives off-campus, consider renter's insurance. It's pretty inexpensive, and covers personal property (computers, TVs, bicycles, furniture, etc.) if it gets destroyed, damaged or stolen. It can also provide coverage if someone gets hurt where the student lives.
  • If the student lives on-campus, the parent's homeowner's policy will generally cover his or her belongings. If they have expensive electronics, though, they might need extra coverage. Talk to your agent or company.
Auto insurance:
  • If the student drives a car to college, his or her existing auto coverage typically goes with them. But check with your agent to be sure.
  • It's also a good idea to let the agent know each quarter or semester if the student maintains good grades. Many companies offer a "good student" discount.
Need help? Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-562-6900. We won't try to sell you anything; we're the state agency that regulates insurance in Washington state.