AAA: Protect Your College Bound Student Against Number One Campus Crime
Minor Adjustments to Insurance Policies Could Protect Against Major Loss
AAA is encouraging parents of college-bound students to do what they can to protect their children from the most common crime on campus. According to US Deparment of Education data on college crime, the theft of personal property is the most common crime on campus, followed by motor vehicle theft.
“Smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming systems are tempting, lucrative targets for thieves,” says Greg Lauria, Regional Manager for AAA Insurance. “Sadly, the theft of personal property can swiftly set a student back thousands of dollars. It’s critical that electronics – and vehicles – be properly insured”.
With all the prep that goes into packing up their college-bound kids, AAA says, parents frequently overlook making important adjustments to insurance policies that would cover such a loss.
College students living away from home may have limited coverage under their parents’ policies. Before setting off for school, parents and students should check to see what risks and liabilities are covered.
AAA offers the following tips for college-bound students:
- If you live in a dorm, some personal possessions may be covered under your parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policies. Expensive items such as computers and other electronics may be subject to coverage limits under a standard homeowner’s policy, and some states require a special student endorsement.
- If you live off-campus, purchase renters insurance. Renters insurance is necessary to protect you and your belongings, and can protect you from liability in the event that someone is accidently injured on the property.
- Leave valuables at home. While some valuable items, such as laptops, are essential on campus, items such as expensive jewelry and electronics may be best left at home.
- Create a “dorm inventory.” Create a detailed inventory of all items you’ll be taking with you, including photos and receipts. In the event that you need to file a claim, an up-to-date inventory will help make the process easier.
- Safeguard your items from theft. Always lock your dorm room door and never leave belongings unattended on campus. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the library, dining hall and other public places are the primary areas where property theft occurs on campus.
- Coverage may depend on whether you leave home or stay in the area. If you bring a car to campus and remain on your parents’ policy, coverage likely still applies. If you attend an out-of-state school, make sure your insurance coverage follows you. It gets a little tricky if the student takes classes year round and does not plan to return home during the summers. Technically, they have relocated to their college location. It gets a little more complex if they have on campus or off campus housing.
- Check with your insurance agent. To see what discounts you may qualify for and to ensure you have adequate coverage while away at school, contact your insurance agent.
AAA Insurance policyholders who have questions or are concerned about gaps in existing coverage, can contact a local insurance agent at 866-AAA-4YOU, or aaa.com/insurance.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.