Families across Texas are busy shopping and packing, getting ready to send their sons and daughters off to college this fall. If your family is in this situation, we have some important information that you need to know.
According to Insurance Journal, the average student will bring thousands of dollars of personal property to college. From textbooks to smartphones, laptops, gaming systems, televisions, clothing and furnishings, the value adds up quickly. Have you considered how your family would replace these items if they were lost or destroyed due to theft, fire or water damage? Renters insurance can help.
Students who live in on-campus housing are generally considered to be residents of their parents’ home, only temporarily living off-premises. Therefore they will likely receive some coverage under your homeowners policy. Even so, a renters policy may provide better protection.
Homeowners Insurance vs. Renters Insurance
- Coverage Limitations – The contents provision in your homeowners policy protects the appliances, furniture, clothing and other contents of the family home. Off-premises coverage is usually limited to 10% of your contents coverage. On the other hand, renters insurance will allow you to fully cover your student possessions without taking away from your own coverage.
- Deductibles – Deductibles represent your out-of-pocket expense when you make a claim on your insurance policy. Homeowners policies tend to have much higher deductibles than renters insurance. Whereas a homeowner may set their deductible at $1000 or more, renters policies may have lower deductibles. Although a low deductible will increase the premium, it will also make it much more affordable for cash-strapped students to replace lost, damaged or stolen items.
- Premiums – Filing a claim against a parent’s homeowners policy can affect the policy’s premium moving forward. Although Texas law prohibits insurance companies from immediately increasing your homeowners rate based on a single claim, the rate might still increase once the policy renews. Furthermore, insurance companies keep a database that tracks seven years of claim data. This information could hurt you if you try to switch to another carrier in the future. Therefore many parents decide to use renters insurance to replace their student’s possessions and reserve their homeowners insurance for catastrophic losses.
- Restrictions – Once your child decides to move off-campus or out of their student housing and into their own apartment, the insurance company will consider that apartment as their permanent residence. Your homeowners policy will no longer cover them. Also, many major property managers across Texas require their tenants to buy renters insurance as a condition of the lease. If your child moves in with roommates, each person may need their own renters policy.
- Value - According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of renters insurance in Texas is only $259; that’s just 71 cents per day to protect thousands of dollars’ worth of textbooks, electronics and other personal items. Renters insurance protects their possessions no matter where they are – in their room, at the library, or at the local coffee shop. Replacing lost or stolen items is just one benefit of renters insurance. The typical renters policy also includes liability protection for damages to the property or for anyone who gets hurt or injured on the property.
Getting Coverage Is Easier Than Ever
We understand this is a busy and emotional time for both you and your child. That’s why we’ve made it easier than ever to get the protection you need. Through the TMA Insurance Trust website, members have 24/7 access to online quotes backed by a team of agents working extended hours to accommodate your hectic schedule. Agents are available by phone at (855) 290-8491 between 7am and 8pm on weekdays – and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays. Agents are also available by email and live chat. If you would like, your agent will give you their direct line and email address. When you need to follow up on a quote or ask a question, you will be able to deal with the same person; someone who knows who you are, what you have previously discussed, and where you left off in the process.
Watching your child go off to college is a major transition. You’ve protected your child up to this point; let TMA Insurance Trust provide protection while he or she is away at school.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.