Go off to College with Safety Tips and Adequate Insurance Coverage, says the I.I.I.
INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
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NEW YORK, August 8, 2006-Registering for classes, buying books and moving away from home are typical worries the college-bound face each year. Today, students must also add theft to their list of worries, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Theft is the number one crime on college campuses. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in recent years there have been over 41,000 annual reported incidents of burglary at and around two and four-year colleges. This figure does not include auto theft, which rings in at approximately 16,000 incidents.
"With portable electronics surging in popularity, many college students walk around with hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of technology either in their pockets or in their book bags," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. "With the cost of tuition rising, the last thing students or their parents need is to have to replace costly electronics due to theft."
Fortunately, learning a little crime prevention combined with making sure that a student's personal possessions are properly insured can help reduce costly mistakes, noted Salvatore.
For students who live in a dorm, most personal possessions are covered under their parents' homeowner or renter insurance policies. However, some home insurance policies may limit the amount of insurance for off-premises belongings to 10 percent of the total amount of coverage for personal possessions. This means that if the parents have $70,000 worth of insurance for their belongings, only $7,000 would be applicable to possessions in the dorm. Other insurers do not impose this type of limit, so you should check with your individual insurance company.
Expensive computer and electronic equipment and items such as jewelry may also be subject to coverage limits. If the limits are too low, parents can consider buying a special personal property floater or an endorsement for these items. There are also stand alone insurance policies for computers and cell phones.
Students who live off campus may not be covered by their parents' policy and may need to purchase their own renters insurance. Students should consult their parents' insurance professional to see if their homeowners or renters policy extends to off-campus living situations.
For students going off to college, the I.I.I. recommends the following:
In the event a student is planning to have a car on campus, choose a safe, reliable vehicle and do some comparison shopping to find the best auto insurance rate. Students should also check with their parents' insurance company as it may offer a multi-policy discount.
No matter how much insurance coverage students have, the best solution is to play it safe. The I.I.I. offers the following advice to guard against theft of your personal belongings:
For more information on homeowners and renters insurance, as well as coverage available to college students, visit the I.I.I. Web site: http://www.iii.org .
The I.I.I. is a nonprofit, communications organization supported by the property/casualty insurance industry.