Insurance for your college student's belongings

Is your son or daughter moving into a college dormitory? Homeowners insurance policies usually extend contents and liability coverage to children living in university-sponsored housing. Talk to your insurance agent about restrictions and limitations that apply to personal belongings kept off-premises. Most policies reduce the amount of coverage for personal property away from the insured location. Ten percent of the policy's contents limit is common. In addition, look for coverage restrictions that apply to expensive items like jewelry, electronics, computers, and more.

Coverage from a homeowners insurance policy may not extend to non-university-sponsored housing. Consider renters insurance to protect your son or daughter's personal belongings and liability risk if he or she is moving to an off-campus apartment or house. Renters policies also include coverage for additional living expense if a fire, storm, or other covered loss makes the property uninhabitable.

It's a good idea to make a detailed inventory of the college student's belongings before the move. Include year, make, model, serial number, and receipts when possible. Store the inventory in a safe deposit box or other secure location. Use it to obtain the right amount of insurance, and as a reference if a loss occurs.