If you have a student just starting college: congrats!

As you take mental inventory of the many (expensive) supplies needed for this venture, you may be wondering about dorm insurance. Are dorm-dwelling college students insured? We've got all the answers in today's blog.

The short answer is: yes, your kids are probably covered, in some shape or form. But it depends on where your college student is living.

If your kid is living in on campus housing (like a dorm), her belongings may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. You'll want to check with your agent to make sure, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports that students who are younger than 26 and living on campus may be covered through their parents' policy.

If your child isn't covered through your policy, you can purchase dorm insurance, which generally has a low deductible, and covers everything from laptops and smartphones to bicycles, sports equipment and musical instruments.

Is your kiddo living in an apartment or off-campus housing? Then you may need to look into a renters policy for them, as your insurance probably won't cover your child's stuff (however, it's worth a call to your agent to confirm). In addition to covering personal and big ticket (laptops, phones, etc) items, a renters policy will provide liability coverage which may help prevent your kid from paying out of pocket if someone is injured on their property -- think college parties!

Whatever your kid's living situation, it's important to make sure they're covered. While risk can vary depending on where your student is enrolled, it's always best to error on the side of caution and protect your child just in case. Be sure to give your agent a call and discuss your options!

Sources: Consumer Reports, Dorm Insurance for College Students | Allstate, Do I Need Renters Insurance in College? | National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Consumer Alert: Renters Insurance for College Students

Photo credit: Flickr/Aine

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