The Ohio Department of Insurance urges parents to assess insurance coverage before college starts

(Columbus, OH – Insurance News 360) – With students of all ages headed back to the classroom, parents of college students in particular have one more thing to do: Assess insurance policies to ensure that a college-age student has adequate coverage.

“It’s important for parents to talk with their insurance agent about options available for college-aged children,” said Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Parents should review their healthcare coverage, auto insurance and homeowners insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage is in place.”

Students are often required to have health insurance, through a private plan or a college-sponsored plan. It is important that parents understand the limitations of the student health insurance plan if their child is enrolling in a college-sponsored plan. Some have more limits and exclusions than one might expect.  It is important to ensure that students moving away from home have copies of insurance cards, and to know whether your student’s location is considered in network or out. This applies whether insurance is through a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization.

Renters Insurance

Whether a student lives in the dorms or off campus, it’s important to protect their personal belongings. For students under the age of 26 who live on campus, it may be easier to cover their items – they may be covered under their parents’ homeowners insurance. Off campus housing is a different story and parents’ insurance may not extend to a rental property. Then it’s time to look at a separate renters insurance policy.

Auto Insurance

Parents, check into auto insurance rates for a student’s city and state as you discuss whether  to keep a student’s car on the family policy. There may be discounts for those students who show academic progress.

Identity Theft

A student’s belongings and vehicle aren’t the only things that need protection. Have you thought about identity theft protection? College students are targets for these thieves because they are often busy and filling out dozens of documents with sensitive information.

There are a few things to know about ID theft insurance though:

This type of insurance does not prevent ID theft, but allows for coverage of the costs to undo the damage – attorney’s fees, costs of mailing documents, making copies and making phone calls.  Some homeowners insurance policies include identity theft protection. Ask if this extends to a student living away from home. Also, check into whether renters insurance covers ID theft or if it could be added on to the policy.

For more information about auto, home, life and health insurance options, as well as tips for choosing the coverage, that is right for you and your family, call the Ohio Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526. Insurance information is available at and you can follow the department on twitter @OHInsurance and at

Source: Ohio Insurance Department.

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