Consumer Advice & Alert, From Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International: Is a Child's Property at College Insured? It may be Under Their Parent's Homeowner’s Policy

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If a college student had personal items in their dorm room, or apartment, that were damaged due to the recent tornadoes, it is very likely that coverage for these items may be found in their parent's homeowner’s policy.

Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International

In the wake of the terrible tornadoes across the country over the past few months, it is important to consider whether a student's personal belongings at college are insured. Many people do not realize that these items are often covered under their homeowner's policy for their primary residence.

While a child is a resident at their parent's home (which is considered the case while the child attends college), his/her belongings are protected under the homeowner's policy that covers the residence, if that policy has coverage for "personal property/contents". Many children travel away to attend college and bring a large number of personal belongings with them. If something were to happen to their living quarters while at college, such as damage from a fire or a pipe burst or a tornado/windstorm, these personal items would more than likely be covered.

By definition, children are "insured's" on a homeowner’s policy and the "premises" insured often extends to property that is located anywhere in the world, other than a second residence owned by the homeowner. Hence, the child’s personal property should be covered. For example, while the child is away at college the dormitory or apartment where they live suffers fire damage and their clothes, furniture, computer and other items are destroyed. Potential coverage for these items could be found in their parent’s homeowner’s policy. A certain percentage of the personal property/contents coverage (usually 10% - though some policies insure for the full amount of coverage) from the homeowner’s policy on the primary residence often extends to personal property items that are, "anywhere in the world, temporarily". The insurance company would then have to treat the loss of the items away with the student at college, in the student’s temporary residence, as if the parent’s house had been the location of the damage. Of course, the language in each policy will differ; it needs to be read carefully to determine where and how much coverage applies.

Provisions found in most policy language affording such coverage include "temporary residence" or "anywhere in the world". Once a child moves out of the family residence, and rents an apartment or purchases a home on a permanent basis, a policy would need to be purchased in order for coverage to be afforded at the new residence.

In summary, if a college student had personal items in their dorm room, or apartment, that were damaged due to the recent tornadoes, it is very likely that coverage for these items may be found in their parent's homeowner’s policy.

For More Information Contact:
Barry A. Flax
Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International
800-858-3900 x1114, bflax(at)gggco(dot)com
http://www.ggg-ai.com

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