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Kenton Brine, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director     
NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (206) 624-3330/(800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
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Kids off to college? Make sure you have the right insurance and they have money smarts

SEATTLE, August 12, 2016 College students are getting ready to settle into their dorms or off-campus housing and hit the books. As a parent, it’s time to do your insurance homework to make sure your college student’s possessions are adequately insured.

The U.S. Department of Education reports 14,000 burglaries occurred on campuses across the nation in 2014. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 3,870 dormitory fires were reported from 2009 to 2013.

“Sadly, there are times when a fire, burglary or theft from a student’s residence or vehicle, is a part of their college experience,” said Kenton Brine, NW Insurance Council president.  “It’s important to review your insurance policies so your coverage will replace what has been lost or damaged.  Your insurance company or agent can explain your options.”

If your student’s property is stolen or damaged while living on campus, those items are typically covered under your standard Homeowners or Renters Insurance. If your college student lives off-campus, however, a Renters Insurance policy may be needed for both personal property (at their residence or in their vehicle) and liability protection. 

NW Insurance Council and Insurance Information Institute offer the following information and tips for parents and students:

  • Contact your insurance company or agent to discuss your current coverage and your insurance options.
  • If your high school or college student permanently moves away from home this creates a possible coverage problem for personal property. Your student must reside in your household for his or her personal property to be covered under your policy.
  • If your student lives in a school dorm room, his or her personal property is covered under your Homeowners Insurance policy.
  • You may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance if your student is attending college at least 100 miles from home and not driving the family car while at school. Also, many auto insurance companies give discounts to students who maintain a B average or higher.
  • Create an inventory of items your son or daughter brought to school. The Insurance Information Institute’s free web-based software, Know Your Stuff, makes this process easy. Having a current inventory can help determine how much insurance is needed and will help speed up the claims process.
  • Students should always lock dorm rooms or apartments and engrave electronics, such as iPods and computers, with your name or other identifying information to help police track stolen items.

College, Credit and Insurance
As a college student transitioning to personal independence, it is important for them to manage their finances responsibly.  It’s important knowing that how you manage your money affects your credit, your insurance and ultimately your future financial security.

Many insurance companies use a credit-based insurance score when evaluating insurance applications or policies. The information contained in your credit report can have a major influence over many parts of your life, including your Auto Insurance and future Homeowners Insurance rates.

For a free brochure, Credit & Insurance, that includes information about how consumers can manage or improve their credit profiles, and for more information about college and insurance, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or send an email to

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.