August 09, 2017

Missouri Insurance Department reminds Missouri families to review insurance coverage before kids head to college

Students' belongings may not be covered by homeowners policy

Jefferson City, Mo. - When checking off items for college, the Missouri Insurance Department wants to remind students and parents not to forget insurance coverage.

"College students will be heading to school soon, some for the first time. Such a significant life change is likely to impact your insurance coverage," said Chlora Lindley-Myers, director of the department. "It's important to understand what your coverage is now and what it will be after students leave for school in case you have to file a claim. A little bit of preparation on your part now can ensure all of your coverage needs are met later."

The department offers these tips for families to make sure their students are properly covered when they're off at school:

  • Auto insurance: If your child is taking a car to college, check with your insurance agent. The price and coverage of your policy may change based on the city and state where your child will live. Also, see if your insurance company offers a discount for a student's good grades. The department has an auto insurance guide that provides basic information. The guide is located on the department's website at www.insurance.mo.gov.
  • Homeowners and renters insurance: Ask your agent if your child's possessions will be covered by your homeowners policy. Some policies cover a student's possessions if they live on campus. For students living off campus, consider renters insurance. A landlord's policy will only cover the building, not the tenant's possessions. College students should complete an itemized checklist of their possessions called a home inventory. When filing a claim, your insurer can ask for a home inventory to see a list of your possessions before paying out a claim. The checklist can help you during the claims process in the event of a fire, storm, or theft. An easy-to-use home inventory checklist is available for free at the department's website, along with free smartphone apps for iPhone and Android devices.
  • Health insurance: Most young adults can stay on their parents' health insurance up to age 26, regardless of marital status, financial dependency, residence, or enrollment in school. Students should take copies of their insurance cards and check their parents' health insurance plans to know which physicians and hospitals are in their network while away at school.
  • Mo2Go Wallet App: Download the Mo2Go Wallet App. This allows you to store all of your insurance information on your smartphone. Users have the ability to text or email their insurance cards right from the app. In case you get pulled over, Missouri law allows drivers to show proof of insurance electronically, and this app allows you to do so. Students should have all of their insurance information on hand just in case they need to use it when they are away from home.

Students and parents with insurance questions can contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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