Hamm advises parents to review insurance policies as college kids settle in
Posted on 8/29/2008
BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm advises parents today to add one more item to the check list of things to do as their kids get settled in at college: review your insurance policies.
Health insurance-most policies in North Dakota cover dependents who are full-time students until age 26. Check the definition of full-time student and/or dependent in your insurance contract to see what is required to be considered full time. Make sure your student has a copy of your insurance cards.
If you are insured by a health maintenance organization (HMO), check to see what coverage would be available to your student outside the service area. If your insurer is part of a preferred provider organization (PPO), your insurer may pay benefits at out-of-network levels. It is also important to note that if your student takes a semester off from school, he or she may be terminated from your insurance coverage. Check your plan provisions.
Renter's insurance-many students bring thousands of dollars worth of personal items to school. If your student is enrolled in classes and living in on-campus housing, your homeowners policy will likely extend to the belongings they take with them. However, if your student is living off-campus, review your homeowner's policy to see if your student's personal items will be covered. If they are not, you might want to consider renter's insurance. A list of your student's possessions will help you decide how much renter's insurance your student will need. That list is also helpful in case of a disaster. Download an inventory checklist at www.nd.gov/ndins.
Auto insurance-if your student is taking a car to school, check with your agent about your existing policy. Ask about rates for the college's city and state; you may want to take out a separate policy for the car. In addition, some companies offer a discount for students who achieve certain grade point averages. Check with your insurance agent.
"Insurance often seems complicated to students," Hamm said. "As a parent, it's important to go over these details to make sure your child is covered and understands your policies."
For more information on how to make sure your student is properly insured, contact the North Dakota Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560 or visit www.insureuonline.org.