You live in Summerville, SC and your daughter has graduated from high school and is off for college in a few weeks. You are helping her pack clothes, computers, etc., etc. and remember the recent fire in downtown Charleston that destroyed the home where several college students were living. The students lost everything they owned. You start asking questions.
Do I need to buy an insurance policy for my daughter while she is at school?
Probably not. If the conditions of your (the parent’s) homeowners policy are met, coverage will extend to your daughter’s possessions while she is living away at school, up to the Coverage C Personal Property limit on your homeowners policy. The liability section of your policy also extends to your daughter.
What are those conditions?
· She must be a resident of your household when she leaves for college.
· She must be a fulltime student as defined by the college.
· She must be under 24.
· She must be living in a place not owned by the parents.
My daughter plans to live in the dorm the first semester and then move into an apartment the second semester. Does that affect the insurance?
No, your policy will still provide coverage. However, some apartment complexes do require the tenant to obtain a renters insurance policy (HO-4) as part of the lease agreement and they usually do not accept the parent’s homeowners policy as proof of insurance.
We have considering buying a condo for our daughter since the mortgage payments are less than the monthly rent? How would that affect things?
Your homeowners policy will provide limited coverage for your daughter’s personal property in the condo. However, your homeowners policy will not provide liability coverage on the condo. Thus, you should buy a separate policy, a condo HO-6 policy.
How much will my daughter’s possessions in the condo be insured for?
The possessions will be covered up to the Coverage C Personal Property limit in the HO-6 policy.
If you decided not to buy an HO-6 policy (which we do not recommend), your daughter’s possessions are insured up to 10% of the amount of the Coverage C Personal Property limit on your homeowners policy. For example, if your policy provides $150,000 contents insurance, your daughter will have $15,000 coverage.
What else do I need to know?
Some students will drop classes and the college will no longer consider them a full time student. If that happens, you will need to purchase the HO-4 policy to provide coverage.
Above all, you must read your own policy as policy conditions may vary from policy to policy.