If you went off to college 10 or 20 years ago, chances are you left with your clothes and maybe a typewriter or a computer. Now as you prepare your college age children to venture off to their campus they might arrive with laptops, smart phones, digital SLR cameras, bicycles, sports equipment, televisions, and maybe a few books. With this in mind, have you considered protecting your child with college student insurance for on and off campus losses?
Understanding the Clery Act of 1990
As our John Bailey Company team prepared to cover this vital insurance topic, we came across the Clery Act. Also known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, it was signed into law on November 8, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush. Basically this act is monitored by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and it requires all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to maintain and disclose statistics regarding crime on or near their campuses.
We invite you to visit the U. S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security (CSS) website. It provides tools to review by year an analysis of safety and security statistical crime and fire data for the school or campus. You can even compare data for multiple schools. An examination of this data may assist you in determining how to review your college student’s insurance needs for both on and off campus living.
Some statistics to consider
In July 2019, GradGuard published a press release “Students Remain Vulnerable to Losses from Campus Fires & Crime.” Here are some statistics to consider:
1. More than 700 colleges and universities provide data to the USDE
2. Every year there are more than 28,000 crime and safety incidents on college campuses
3. Of these incidents more than 95% are categorized as on-campus burglaries
4. Annually there are an average of 1,999 fires in on-campus housing
With these statistics in mind, each college student should determine if they can afford to replace (without insurance coverage) their computer, bicycle, smartphone or even a backpack. Inquire if your school will replace damaged or stolen property, as 98% of schools report they do not provide such coverage. Finally, if you are uninsured and cause damage to someone’s property, can you afford to repair or replace it?
Guidelines for college student insurance for on and off campus losses
We encourage our present and future clients to take the time to meet with your agent to discuss how best to insure your child for both on and off campus losses. The Insurance Information Institute (III) published a helpful reference tool for parents and their college aged children to utilize, “Protecting your college student from on-campus losses.” Here are some typical basics:
• Students living in college dorms should determine if they are covered by their parents’ homeowners or renter’s policy.
• Students living off campus should also determine if they are covered by their parents’ homeowners or renter’s policy. If not, consider buying a separate renters insurance policy.
• Determine if the student’s smartphone or computer is insured by a stand-alone policy. These are often provided at the time of purchase or by the credit card used for the purchase.
• Discuss with your insurance agent the possibility of a stand-alone policy designed specifically for students living away at college.
• Remember, if your college student is planning to leave their car at home, advise your insurance agent of this fact.
• Review which valuables the student can leave at home. For example, valuable jewelry or certain high-priced electronics. If the items must be taken to the campus, investigate buying a special homeowners policy endorsement.
• Engrave your electronics with your name and identifying information. This can help tracking stolen items.
• A dorm inventory is vital. Keep it up to date. This will assist in making a claim should the college student be the victim of a theft, fire damage or other natural disaster.
The bottom line on protecting your college student
Our John Bailey Company team is here to help you insure a great life. Part of this process is to help you review your current insurance and assist you in making any necessary changes prior to your college-aged children leaving for college. While most students will choose to live in a dorm, there are those who will decide on renting an apartment. Here are some tips to consider when leasing an apartment for college living in the University of Tennessee area.
Here’s to your children and a great college year.