Salem, OR—There is a lot of excitement and trepidation this time of year as children head back to school, whether it be elementary, middle, or high school, or even to college. As your students head off, now is a good time to review your insurance policies to give yourself peace of mind and help protect your family from financial disaster.
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) reminds Oregonians that having proper insurance coverage can provide greater peace of mind and protect your family. Here are some insurance tips to help your back-to-school season go smoothly.
• Homeowners insurance
If your student is moving into a dorm room, your homeowners policy will likely cover their personal property in case of a loss. Ask your child to tell you if they buy a new computer or other pricey items, and have them keep receipts. Check with your agent or insurance company to ensure these items are covered.
Students living off campus should consider renters insurance. This coverage will protect students’ personal property and provide liability coverage if someone is injured on the property. Premiums for renters insurance are reasonable, depending on the location, size of the rental unit, and the value of the possessions. A home inventory is always a good idea, whether they live on or off campus. This list of items will make a future insurance claim much quicker and easier to settle.
• Auto insurance
Oregon requires every vehicle on the road to have auto liability coverage. Auto liability insurance pays for property damage and bodily injury to someone else if you are found responsible for an accident up to your policy’s limits. If the title to the vehicle is in your student’s name, they must have their own policy. If your college student is driving a vehicle you own, your child can likely stay on your policy and be listed as a driver.
Tell your insurance agent or company where the vehicle will be stored if the address differs from what is on your policy.
• Health insurance
Students have several options for health insurance coverage while away at college. If your children are covered under your insurance now, they will still be covered while at school. Any insurance plan that offers dependent coverage must make that available until the dependent is 26. If you are currently enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO), your child may need to return to your home area for routine care and may have emergency care only while at school.
Many colleges and universities also offer their own student health insurance plans. The premiums and features vary widely by school. Check with your student’s school health center to see available coverage options.
• Denied insurance claims
If your family experiences a claim denial or settlement disagreement, and you are unable to resolve the issue with your insurance company, you can file a complaint on the DFR website. The division’s advocates are also available to help answer general questions. Call 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
. The division’s website also has resources available at dfr.oregon.gov [ https://dfr.oregon.gov
About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit oregon.gov/dcbs and dfr.oregon.gov.
Jason Horton, public information officer