Is My College-Bound Student Covered Under My Current Insurance?

A Few Tips for the College-Bound  

College is expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft, not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your coverage. (Coverage varies by state. Call your agent for verification.)


  • Personal Property:  Most homeowners policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage) as long as the student meets the definition of an insured. Not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, require special coverage.
    • Renters insurance is strongly recommended if a particular policy does not cover a student's personal property. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the possessions of renters. You can read more about the application of renters insurance, here.
  • Liability Coverage:  General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered due to an exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured. 
  • Documentation:  Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. Use photographs and keep receipts.



  • Car Stays Home:  Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still drive your car while at home on school breaks.
  • Car at School:  In most instances, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school. But make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school so that we can ensure that your insurance carrier writes coverage in the college’s state and location. And note that a change to the principal location of the vehicle could result in a change in premium.  
  • Driving a Friend’s Car:  Students are generally covered if they are listed on their parent’s policy and are not regularly using the vehicle. The coverage would likely be secondary in this case, as the carrier for the friend’s vehicle likely would be the primary coverage.
  • Discounts:  A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good-student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available depending on how far the student will be living from home. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

Before your child leaves for school, call APIA Insurance at 1-800-890-5563 or e-mail We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage. We’re here to help!