Image of two college roommates laughing with their laptops and tablets.

Will Homeowners Cover Your Kid at College?

Updated March 5, 2024 . AmFam Team

As another school year gets underway, you may be wondering about your college-bound kid. Is the expensive tech they’re bringing into the dorm covered under your homeowners insurance policy? The answer is usually yes — but your homeowners policy may not be the best way to protect their things. You might want to consider picking up a renters policy instead of leaning on your homeowners insurance for coverage.

Personal Property and Your Homeowners Policy

You probably think of your homeowners policy as something that protects your home if storm damage should occur. While that’s true under your dwelling coverage, it’s your personal property coverage in your homeowners policy that can protect your family’s belongings, at home or away from it.

Personal property includes belongings like furniture, clothing, electronics and jewelry. It’s coverage that ensures you’ll have the means to repair or replace certain possessions should they be damaged by a covered event. If your kid’s computer gets stolen at a coffee shop or their camera is swiped from their dorm room, you’ll have peace of mind no matter where they are, because your insurance is looking out for them.

Does Your Homeowners Policy Cover Personal Property in a Dorm?

Typically insurance companies will extend homeowners coverage to students who live away from home — since personal property is protected anywhere in the world — with some limitations. Whether they live on campus in a dorm or in off-campus housing, their personal property can be protected by your homeowners policy. But if the student isn’t considered an “insured” on your policy, other coverage like renters insurance may be required — if you want to protect their belongings.

Are Cell Phones Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Although cell phones can qualify for coverage under your homeowners policy, you may be better off with other coverage. Because most cell providers offer repair and replacement coverage, going with their insurance program can help keep your homeowners insurance premiums low, since claims to cell phones are so common and they’re lost or broken so often. By keeping your homeowners claims to a minimum, you’ll help to keep that premium low.

Is Renter’s Insurance for Your College Student a Good Idea?

As your kids make their way into adulthood, they take on new roles and responsibilities. And sometimes, accidents happen. Making a few mistakes along the way is part of the process, but it doesn’t have to set them back financially. Picking up a renters policy for them is a great idea. First off it’s really affordable. And it’s a great way to help protect their finances and credit rating, too. And you’ll also benefit by sheltering your homeowners policy from rate hikes due to claims that your college students make.

Instead of having to foot the bill to repair or replace items or damaged property, they’ll only have to file a claim and pay the renters policy deductible — we’ll take care of the rest — up to the policy’s coverage limits. If their place isn’t livable while repairs are being made, the renters policy can also pay for additional living expenses. This can all help keep your young adults’ credit ratings strong.

While you’re looking into whether homeowners or renters insurance is best for your family, remember to reach out to your American Family Insurance agent. You can carefully review the options for both plans and select a policy that works for everyone. Best of all, you’ll feel great with the knowledge that your college-bound student’s finances — and personal belongings — are well protected no matter where they are.

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