Summer is coming to an end and the start of the school year is fast approaching.
As the parent of two college students and a recent graduate student, I understand how exciting this time is for students and parents.
Whether you’re a fresh high school graduate heading into college or a nervous parent preparing for your child’s first day, it’s important to review your insurance policies to make sure your entire family is properly covered.
During this busy time of year, I want to remind Oklahoma residents that having the right insurance can provide them with greater peace of mind throughout the year and protect their families from a financial disaster.
Here are some insurance tips that parents and students should consider before going to school.
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If your student is moving into a dorm, your home insurance policy will likely cover their belongings in case of loss.
Ask your child to let you know if they are buying a new computer or other expensive items. You will need to check with your insurance company to make sure your coverage will take care of these things.
Students living off campus should consider tenant insurance. This coverage will protect student property and protect them if someone is injured on the property.
Renters insurance premiums range between $15 and $30 per month, depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the value of the property. Whether they live on campus or off campus, a home inventory is a good idea. The list of items will make a future insurance claim faster and easier to settle.
Oklahoma requires every car to have automobile liability coverage or meet the financial responsibility requirements of Oklahoma law.
Automobile liability insurance pays for property damage and bodily injury to someone else if you are found at-fault in an accident, up to policy limits.
If the title of the car is in your student’s name, it will need to have its own policy. If your student drives a vehicle you own, your child can probably stay on your policy.
If your student travels to college without a vehicle, you may be eligible for a discount on “student absent from school” car insurance. Check with your insurance agent or insurance company and let them know where the car will be stored if the address differs from the one on the policy.
Students have several health insurance coverage options while in college. If your children are covered by your insurance now, chances are they will still be covered while they are in school. Any insurance plan that provides coverage for dependents must make it available until the dependent turns 26.
Many colleges and universities also offer their own student health insurance plan. Bonuses and features vary widely from school to school. Check with your student’s school health center to see what coverage options are available.
Insurance claims denied
If your family is facing a claim denial or settlement disagreement, you can file a complaint at oid.ok.gov. The Oklahoma Department of Insurance Consumer Assistance Team mediates claims between policyholders and insurance companies.
If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Department of Insurance at 1-800-522-0071 or visit the website.
Glen Mulready is Okahoma’s insurance commissioner.