Tips for College-Aged Adults and their Parents

This bulletin was recently sent by the California Department of Insurance:

SACRAMENTO – As college students head back to school this fall, Commissioner Poizner urges them to do their homework in researching their insurance options. Students and parents should make sure not to overlook the issue of insurance in their back-to-school preparations.

“Going to college can be an exhilarating, anxious and expensive process,” said Commissioner Poizner. “College costs are high enough. Parents don’t need the added expenses that can result from inadequate coverage of their children. I urge parents to carefully review all their insurance policies to determine exactly what is — and is not — covered for their college-bound children.”

Commissioner Poizner offered the following insurance tips for college-aged adults:

Health insurance:

In many cases, full-time college students are covered under their parents’ health insurance plans until they graduate or reach 23 years of age.

Students who are insured under their parents’ policies should make sure campus health facilities and local doctors and hospitals accept theirfamily’s insurance coverage.

If not, it may be advisable for a student to purchase an insurance plan through his or her school, or research additional insurance options.

Renters insurance:

Many students own computers, TVs, MP3 players, DVDs, and other valuables that could be stolen or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster.

More than $4 million in personal property was reported stolen to University of California police departments, and more than $5 million in personal property was reported stolen to California State University police departments in 2006.

Colleges and landlords typically do not pay for the loss of personal property. Parents should check their homeowners policies to see what is covered for their students.

Auto insurance:

If a student will be using the family vehicle when visiting home, parents should make sure the child is listed by name on the family’s auto insurance policy.

Notify your auto insurance company each semester if a student maintains good grades, which may help lower premiums.

Students who do not have auto insurance through their parents’ policies should ask themselves, do I have financial resources to pay for an accident if I am at fault? What would I do if my car was stolen? Would I be able to purchase another vehicle?

California drivers between the ages of 18-24 were involved in nearly 200,000 accidents in 2006.

Auto insurance can be expensive, especially for students. But driving without liability coverage is illegal.

Fortunately, there is an affordable option for eligible college students.

The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program offers low-cost automobile liability insurance to good drivers who meet eligibility criteria.

In Sacramento, drivers can be insured for $378 per year. Medical coverage and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage are also available through this program at additional costs. For more information about this program, visit the Department of Insurance website at

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