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Insurance is for unexpected events, and the college years are certainly full of surprises. Your first time away from home, with newly found freedom and independence, is both exciting and worrisome. The last thing you need is the expense of replacing lost or stolen personal property, or facing a lawsuit on your own.

You may be covered under your parents’ auto and health insurance, but as a college student you also need some insurance of your own — to help pay bills when sick, cover losses if the car gets wrecked, pay for lawsuits against you, and provide money to replace stolen personal belongings.

Check out these 11 types of insurance every college student should consider:

  1. Personal property insurance for college students
  2. College student personal property floaters
  3. College student insurance for personal liability
  4. College student insurance for loss of use
  5. Dorm insurance for college students
  6. Car insurance for college students
  7. Pet insurance for student’s pets at college
  8. Student health insurance
  9. Student dental insurance
  10. Tuition insurance for college students
  11. College study abroad insurance

1. Personal property insurance for college students

Whether you live in a dorm or off-campus housing, you probably have a lot of personal property with you, like:

  • Clothes
  • Microwaves
  • Phones
  • Guitars
  • Bikes
  • Books
  • Cameras
  • Jewelry
  • Laptops
  • Drones
  • Other electronics

If any of those things get lost, stolen or damaged, would you have the money to repair or replace them? Personal property coverage would reimburse you for the money you spend to repair or replace your personal belongings that get damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.

Your parent’s renters or homeowners insurance — or your policy if you purchased one in your name for off-campus housing — includes personal property coverage.

Learn more: Renters Insurance: Average Cost and Options

2. College student personal property floaters

Floaters — also called endorsements, riders, add-ons, and other terms — are other policies added onto a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Their purpose is to increase coverage limits of specific personal belongings that have payment caps under a standard home or renters policy.

Standard policy limits typically average $1,000 to $2,500 for each category and per claim, whereas floaters are usually set at the item’s value.

Examples of items with policy maximums are:

  • Jewelry
  • Laptops
  • Musical instruments

Floaters essentially give you a dedicated computer insurance policy in addition to your standard homeowners policy. Standard policy limits and floater limits determine the amount of money you get from your insurer significantly, so it’s a good idea to check your parents’ policy limits before heading off to school.

3. College student insurance for personal liability

Your parents’ renters or homeowners insurance, or your policy if you purchased one in your name for off-campus housing, also includes personal liability coverage.

Personal liability insurance covers two circumstances:

  • Legal expenses you incur if you harm someone (COVID-19, STDs, or a punch in the face) and get sued; or
  • If you damage someone’s property and need to replace it or cause them bodily injury and have to pay their medical bills.

Comparing quotes from multiple insurance carriers can help you find a policy that provides the liability coverage you need. The Credible marketplace, which includes insurance services by Young Alfred, makes it easy to find a carrier and homeowners policy that’s right for you.

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4. College student insurance for loss of use

Loss of use coverage is also typically included in renters or homeowners insurance policies. If something happens to your off-campus apartment that makes it uninhabitable, this coverage can help cover the cost of living elsewhere.

Learn more: An Overview of Loss of Use Coverage

5. Dorm insurance for college students

Just as homeowners can get homeowners insurance and tenants can purchase renters insurance, if you live in a dorm, you can get dorm insurance. Dorm insurance protects your personal belongings and it’s a good option if you’re a cash-strapped student.

Dorm insurance is roughly $10/month, and you can get it with $25 deductibles.

6. Car insurance for college students

Most states require drivers to have vehicle insurance. As a college student, you may be covered under your own or your parents’ car insurance policy.

If you get good grades, you may be able to get a discount on your vehicle insurance. Most auto insurance companies offer 15% – 25% discounts off premiums if students exceed a B or 3.0 average.

You may also be able to lower your premiums by:

  • Maintaining a clean driving record
  • Getting driver education certifications
  • Avoiding accidents and car insurance claims
  • Piggybacking on a parent’s policy
Good to know: Only Virginia and New Hampshire don’t require drivers to have auto insurance — although both encourage drivers to get it. But in Virginia, you’ll pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to the state Department of Motor Vehicles if you choose to forgo insurance.

7. Pet insurance for student’s pets at college

If you live in off-campus housing, you may be able to bring your best friend with you to college. But can you pay for a $50,000 dog bite? That’s the national average cost of a lawsuit over a dog bite, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Your renters insurance, or your parents homeowners insurance, likely includes liability coverage. But check to make sure that coverage extends to dog bites — not all policies do. You may need to buy additional coverage.

And you’ll want to keep your pet healthy. Vet visits for younger dogs, including wellness exams and parasite prevention, can range $100 to $320, according to Rover. If your pet is older or has health problems, your veterinarian expenses can go even higher. Pet insurance covers veterinarian medical bills that can be quite expensive.

Learn more: Everything You Need to Know About Home Insurance Claims

8. Student health insurance

You may think you don’t need to worry about health insurance if you’re a young college student with access to your student health clinic. But everyone gets sick from time to time, and sometimes the situation is more serious than a campus clinic can handle.

Going without health insurance is never an option. A single doctor’s visit can cost hundreds of dollars if you’re uninsured. More serious health issues could create a mountain of medical debt.

Fortunately, you have health insurance options, including:

  • Medicaid (in some states)
  • Staying on your parent’s health insurance
  • University student health plans
  • Catastrophic plans

Plus, it’s likely your school will require you to have health insurance as a condition to attend.

Good to know: The Affordable Care Act allows you to stay on your parents’ health insurance until age 26 — even if you get married, have a child, leave school, don’t live in your parents’ home, aren’t a dependent on their taxes, or have access to your own job-based coverage.

9. Student dental insurance

If you’ve already had your wisdom teeth removed and have been attentive about your dental health, you may be able to get through college without needing any major dental work.

Basic dental insurance is relatively cheap, but it’s a good idea to compare the cost of out-of-pocket preventative maintenance vs. a dental insurance policy. Your best choice typically boils down to how much and what type of work you need. Genetics and self-hygiene are indicators to follow when deciding what to do.

10. Tuition insurance for college students

If a health issue forces you to drop out during an academic term, tuition reimbursement insurance can help you recoup some, or even all, the money you put toward school expenses. Before buying this type of insurance, check your school’s refund policy to ensure you’re not purchasing something you don’t need.

Tuition insurance may reimburse you for tuition, room and board, and some other fees if a covered reason forces you to withdraw from school. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, typical covered reasons include:

  • Physical or mental health illness
  • You get injured
  • You pass away
  • A person paying your tuition passes away
Keep in mind: Covered reasons and reimbursement amounts can vary widely from insurer to insurer, so be sure to carefully review policy information before buying.

11. College study abroad insurance

If your renters insurance or your parents’ homeowners insurance includes off-premises coverage, some personal property, and personal liability policies extend to students studying and traveling internationally. But, homeowners and renters insurance won’t cover the cost of an airplane ticket for trip cancellations or interruptions, or emergency medical care and other similar events.

It’s a good idea to compare study abroad insurance with travel insurance to determine which is best for your needs.

Disclaimer: All insurance-related services are offered through Young Alfred.

About the author
Credible Staff
Credible Staff

The goal of the Credible editorial writers and staff is to help our readers get up to speed on issues surrounding student loans, mortgage, and personal finance, so you can make informed decisions. We’re here to help you stay on top of the latest news, trends, concepts, and changes in policy and regulations.

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