There are over 20 million college students settling back into school this fall across America. Campuses are teeming again, and unfortunately crime is prevalent. Burglary accounts for half of all crimes on campus, that’s close to 30,000 victims of personal theft on U.S. campuses every year.*
Few college students give thought to car and property insurance and when thefts occur, there can be big expenses to replace stolen property. Morgan M. certainly wasn’t thinking about insurance when she was a Massachusetts college student, and she paid a price.
One day, Morgan went to brunch with her friends and returned to an unfortunate surprise at her place. “I was planning to finish a lab report that afternoon, and needed my laptop. I realized almost immediately that it was missing,” she said. Morgan reported the theft to campus police, but never saw the laptop again. She had no insurance and the cost of a new laptop fell on her, and her parents, 100%.
College students, and parents, can protect themselves against things like theft and car accidents while away at school. Here are some preventive measures.
● If a student is living off campus, renter’s insurance is a good investment to consider. As a parent, your homeowners policy may extend coverage to a student living in a dorm or on-campus apartment, but once your student moves into housing unaffiliated with the school, he or she likely needs separate coverage.
● Invest in a laptop lock in case the student leaves a computer unattended. The best way to prevent theft is to implement security measures.
● Even if the student isn’t bringing a car to campus, parents should opt to keep their student as a driver on their policy. If your student drives a friend’s car and has an accident, you’ll want to make sure he or she is covered. If you do take the student off the policy, it’s important to add them back onto the policy upon their return home, before they operate the vehicle, even if it’s just for a weekend visit.
● Families can explore if they would benefit from discounts for their college-aged driver. At MAPFRE, for instance, we offer a number of discounts, including savings for Good Student and Student Away From Home.
● Since identity theft occurs at a greater rate for young adults, ages 16-24 years-old, it’s worth exploring identity theft coverage.
College students, and their parents, have enough on their minds. With the right decisions around property and auto insurance, you can eliminate the worrying about paying for that dinged-up front bumper or stolen laptop. Be sure to talk with your independent agent and ensure that you’re covering your college student the best you can.