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Five questions to answer regarding your college student’s insurance

With Kansas college students heading to school this month, the necessities of college life — clothing, electronic equipment, more clothing, — should include “insurance.”

But with such a broad and intensive topic, what major questions should parents and students answer? Below are five that we at the Kansas Insurance Department think are most appropriate. The questions may seem a bit negative, but knowing the answers will provide for a better positive outcome for both students and parents.

What if I have an auto accident?

Make it easier to report an accident. Installing the WreckCheck mobile smartphone application, a free application from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, gives both students and parents an outline of what to do immediately following any vehicle accident. The free app helps you create an accident report.

But before an accident occurs, check with your local agent about the current vehicle insurance policy for the vehicle the student is driving. If you ask about the rates for the college’s city, that may help you decide whether to keep the student’s car on the family’s auto policy or place it in the student’s name.

How can I save some money on car insurance?

Make sure your insurance company is notified each semester if your student maintains good grades. Getting a good student discount on the vehicle’s premium saves money. You might also consider whether carrying liability coverage-only is an option.

What if somebody breaks into my rental apartment?

Know that your landlord doesn’t protect your personal property. You should realize that a landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover a renter’s personal belongings. Purchasing rental insurance is, for the most part, an affordable way to protect your belongings.

Also, make sure to take photos or video of the possessions, and store an inventory list in a secure location. Smartphone users can add the myHOMEScr.APP.book application from the NAIC.

What if my identity is stolen?

Know the limits of identity theft insurance. With constant cybersecurity concerns, identity theft coverage is certainly a consideration. Identity theft insurance is limited, however. It can’t protect parents or students from becoming victims of identity theft, and it doesn’t cover your direct financial losses. It does provide coverage for the cost of reclaiming a person’s financial identity, such as making phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work without pay, and hiring an attorney.

The primary policyholder of your homeowners policy should check first to see if the policy includes identity theft insurance while the student is away from the family home. If a student is renting an apartment, ask if his/her renters insurance covers identity theft, or if that could be added to the policy.

What if I get ill or have an injury accident?

Realize health insurance options. Nearly all young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plans because of current federal health laws.

At school, students should have copies of their insurance cards and know how or where to seek medical treatment.

If a student is insured through a company with a network of medical providers, check to see if he/she will be in or out of the network service area while at school. That will make a difference in how much you or your student will have to pay for out-of-pocket charges.

Routine dental care and eye care may not be included as part of a health insurance plan.
Also, health insurance plans may not cover expenses related to periodic eye examinations, glasses or contact lenses, but most will cover medical care as a result of an eye disease or injury. Check your exclusions.

For more, visit our department’s website at www.ksinsurance.org, call our Consumer Assistance Hotline at 800-432-2484, or see our informative videos on YouTube.

Best wishes for a successful college experience.

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