People think of insurance as most important to someone at midlife, with a home and family to protect. In fact, insurance is something that college students should inventory with help from their parents. Even seemingly small events – like a stolen laptop or mono – can impact a family’s financial well-being and a student’s academic success.
GradGuard recommends college parents and students take an inventory of the insurance that may help them reduce the harm that results from real risks surrounding college life.
Renters: Students living on- or off-campus can protect their personal items like computers, bikes, jewelry and other valuables with an inexpensive renters policy that covers theft, fire and weather-related destruction. Although parents’ homeowners policies may offer coverage for student renters, they typically carry a high deductible and may have coverage limitations for part-time students. GradGuard’s renters insurance not only includes personal property protection with replacement cost but also provides personal liability coverage. The average cost is less than $150/year, including up to $10,000 property coverage, $50,000 in personal liability and a $100 deductible. (www.GradGuard.com/renters)
Tuition: According to a 2009 study by Student Monitor, 27 percent of students had to, or knew someone who had to, withdraw from college mid-semester due to health issues or a death in the family. Until now, tuition insurance was typically available only at select private colleges and universities, and many school’s refund policies only cover withdrawals within the first five weeks of the semester. GradGuard’s tuition insurance program (www.GradGuard.com/tuition) provides up to $50,000 of annual tuition insurance for the non-refunded financial loss associated with the cost of attending college. The GradGuard plan is available to students nationwide and covers verifiable losses connected to the cost of attendance. This includes not only the loss of non-refunded tuition payments, but also academic fees, student housing, books, and travel to and from the academic program. Rates start at $29.00 for $10,000 of coverage.
Health: A 2009 eHealth research study found that only “three in five (60%) college students are currently covered either by their parents’ health insurance plan or a health insurance plan paid for by their parents.” Until now, the remaining students, particularly the more than 6.5 million students attending two-year or community colleges, have had few relevant alternatives to address the financial risk associated with student accident and illness. The GradGuard™ Student Health Plan (www.GradGuard.com/health) provides broader accident and sickness benefits than many limited coverage school sponsored policies. The GradGuard Student Health Plan, also available through eHealth, includes tuition refund insurance, and is the only plan of its kind available nationwide to any student attending any accredited college or university. The annual cost ranges from $1464 to $1848 depending on the deductible.
Identity Theft Protection & Resolution: According to the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report released by Javelin Strategy and Research, more than 11 million people became victims of identity theft in 2009. Young adults aged 18-24 took the longest to detect identity theft —132 days on average — when compared to other age groups. Subsequently, the average cost ($1,156) was roughly five times more than amounts lost by other age groups. An Identity Theft Protection & Resolution plan, like the one included in GradGuard’s Student Protection Plan, helps protect against certain types of identity theft and aids in the resolution if one becomes a victim. The cost of this coverage is included in GradGuard’s tuition insurance plan.
Emergency Medical Evacuation: Emergency medical evacuation is important for any student living away from home or studying abroad. If a student becomes seriously ill or has an accident while on spring break or studying abroad this type of insurance will help bring the student home or to the nearest medical facility near home.
This inventory can be helpful to all college families as well as any person evaluating how to mitigate the risks facing their lives.