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If your child is a college student living away from home, your homeowners insurance policy will generally cover their possessions. Personal property coverage protects your belongings, including clothing, furniture and electronics. It helps pay to repair or replace these items in case of loss due to a covered event, like theft or fire.

MoneyGeek provides more information about personal property coverage and how much you may need.

You don’t need to buy additional insurance for your college student’s property, as it is automatically covered under your homeowners insurance policy. For more information on selecting the right policy, read MoneyGeek’s guide to homeowners insurance.

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When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover College Students?

Insurers generally cover college students under the parents’ homeowners insurance if the students are of a certain age, enrolled full-time and live on campus. MoneyGeek illustrates instances when their parent’s policy covers college students.

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  • If a covered peril, like fire, damages valuable personal items, such as laptops, tablets or expensive school books.
  • If someone steals electronics or any other personal items from the dorm room.

Whereas some insurers may put certain age restrictions for college students and require them to live on campus, it’s also possible that your policy doesn’t cover college students at all. It’s best to ask whether your policy offers coverage for students and to learn about any restrictions.

When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover College Students?

If the college student does not live on campus, is over a certain age or not enrolled full-time, most insurance companies won’t offer coverage under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Insurers also don’t cover personal property damage if it’s not due to a covered event like fire, theft or vandalism.

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How to Prevent On-Campus Losses as a College Student

Although a standard homeowners insurance policy will help college students repair or replace their items in case of a loss, it's better to avoid losses altogether. Students should consider leaving their valuables at home and take safety precautions like locking dorm room doors.

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    Leave valuables at home

    It may not be possible to leave electronics like laptops and tablets behind when going to college. However, items like valuable jewelry and luxury watches are probably better left at home.

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    Never leave personal belongings unattended

    Never leave personal belongings unattended in a classroom, library or dining hall.

  • Always lock dorm room doors

    Always lock the door and make sure roommates do the same.

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    Take safety precautions during cooking

    Understand how microwave ovens and hot plates work and take safety precautions to prevent fires when cooking.

Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance

State Farm and Hippo, two of the most popular insurance companies, offer homeowners insurance policies at affordable rates and with many coverages and discounts. You can also buy a policy from regional insurers like Lemonade and Toggle.

Before buying a policy, it’s best to shop around and compare quotes to ensure you’re getting a good deal. A homeowners insurance policy costs an average of $175 per month. However, this cost may vary depending on the value of your possessions. You can use MoneyGeek’s personal property calculator to estimate your insurance costs based on the value of your personal property.


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About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.