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OFIR Offers Insurance Tips to Michigan Students Leaving for College
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2011
Contact: Jason Moon 517-335-1700
LANSING - As students from Michigan prepare to head off to college, the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) strongly urges these young adults and their parents to review their family’s insurance policies. Parents need to determine exactly what is - and is not - covered for their college-bound children.
“Michigan parents need to carefully review their various insurance policies to determine if they have the proper coverage for their children living away from home,” OFIR Commissioner Kevin Clinton said. “Families may also be able to lower their insurance premiums if they modify and update their existing policies”
The following are some considerations and tips from OFIR for parents and college students:
College Students and Renter’s Insurance
Whether students live in college housing or rent apartments, they will likely have valuables - such as a computer, TV, stereo and/or video game system - that could be stolen or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster. Parents should check their homeowners policy to see whether it will cover a college student’s possessions. Furthermore, if students live in an off-campus apartment, parents should consider purchasing renter’s insurance through their existing homeowners insurance provider.
For OFIR’s resources on homeowners and renter’s insurance, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555_13222_13224-52521--,00.html
College Students and Auto Insurance
Parents and college students should do some homework regarding auto insurance. If a college student is going to be using the family vehicle when visiting home, parents should make sure the child is listed by name on the family’s auto insurance policy. If the student will be taking a car with them to school, parents should check the specific rates for the college’s city and state before deciding whether to keep their child on the family’s auto policy. In addition, the insurance company should be notified each semester if the student maintains good grades, as that accomplishment might lower premiums.
To control costs, parents should also ask about an “accident forgiveness” clause that promises not to raise premiums if a student gets into one minor accident. They should also consider raising the policy’s deductible and only allowing their child to drive the family’s oldest, least expensive car. In addition, parents might consider purchasing an older car for their child and foregoing comprehensive and collision insurance on that vehicle.
For OFIR’s resources on auto insurance, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555_13222_13224-66774--,00.html
College Students and Health Insurance
Following the enactment of federal health care reform, nearly all young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their parents’ insurance. Coverage with the new law extends benefits to adult children regardless of marital status, financial dependency, enrollment in school or residency. While students are away at college, it is important to check whether the campus health facility, local physicians and hospitals accept the family’s insurance coverage. If not, it might be advisable to purchase a student insurance plan through the college. Be sure the student has a copy of the relevant insurance cards and knows about obtaining referrals and approvals before seeking treatment.
For OFIR’s resources on health insurance, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,1607,7-154-10555_12902_35510---,00.html
If Michigan consumer have a question or complaint about an insurance company, policy or professional they should contact OFIR toll-free at 877-999-66442 or www.michigan.gov/ofir