Back to College/School Prep

Review your insurance when students are heading back to collegeIt’s that time of year again.  School buses are out checking their routes because school is about to be back in session.  For some, it’s a standard process, but for those who are going away to college for the first time (or again after the summer break), it can be a mighty year filled with a lot of big changes that should get proper acknowledgement.  From a change in environment to a shift in insurance, there is a lot to focus on with this new school season.

Prepare for the academic change

Students are going to be entering a brand new academic field when they go away to college.  Studying may be harder, and homework may pile up.  Students should be prepared as best as possible with the essentials such as noise cancelling headphones, a planner (virtual or otherwise) for important dates, and anything else that can help them stay on top of it all.  For many, this is a time when their parents won’t be around to do all of the reminding, encouraging and forcing to get work down. It’s a great idea, too, to make sure that they are emotionally prepared for the shift in the education system and potentially being away from home, which can play a role in mental health.

Rely on your support system

From parents — near or far — to roommates to mentors, having a support system is really important in that first year of college, or for any college student.  Before or after they get to school, it could be helpful, and stress-relieving, to know that there is a support system in place.  Most colleges have orientation sessions deliberately designed to help new students network.  It’s a good idea to take full advantage of those opportunities.

Review insurance coverage

Just because they’re no longer under your roof full time, it’s important to know that they’re still covered for any necessary insurance coverage. Consider having a discussion with your insurance agent to see if things change for your student as far as their auto insurance and the state they will be traveling to.  Renter’s insurance would be something they hadn’t had previously, but this might be a good option to consider especially if they are sharing a room as who knows who will be coming and going from that room. Don’t forget a review of their health insurance as out of pocket costs may increase if they don’t find a doctor in network, depending upon the plan you/they have.  There’s also the bonus perk that there are quite a few discounts available for families where college students are enrolled full time in programs, so be sure to ask your insurance agent.

Consider a dorm inventory

When living in a dorm, you can help protect your belongings by making a dorm inventory where everything is itemized along with an estimated value so that, in the case of a flood or fire or theft, the list is complete and it helps the claims process go faster.  Additionally, it can help determine what kind of insurance add-on to get for your household that will still cover the student.

Whether preparing for college, or simply heading back to school for another year, it’s a good idea to look at reviewing insurance policies to make sure they are still up to date.  Since reviewing your policy every year is a good idea anyway, make back-to-school season your preferred choice for that review.  It doesn’t have to be a stressful time, or mean a big shift in your life, but being prepared will help.  It just focuses on the idea of being prepared for changes as they come, and making sure that your insurance is up to date and intact to adapt with those shifts and changes.

Contact Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 with any of your insurance needs or questions. We would be happy to review your coverages and discuss with you any options you may not have considered.

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