Consumer Reports

What is College Insurance and What Can it Do For You?

Consumer Reports breaks down tuition and dorm insurance to see if they are right for you or your child.

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It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money these days. All in, the average is more than $27,000 a year for a state school and more than $55,000 for a private university. Consumer Reports says some families are wondering if there’s any way to protect their money in case of emergency.

It’s an investment totaling tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars. But what if something goes wrong? Consumer Reports says there are two ways to protect some of that investment: tuition insurance and dorm insurance.

If your child experiences a major health issue and has to drop out midway through the semester, tuition insurance would refund you for the portion of the semester your child did not receive.

Plus, that’s on top of what your kid’s school may refund you. So after checking the college’s refund policy, CR says check the coverage terms to see what precise conditions are covered and what is needed. But generally, you’ll need to send medical records, such as a doctor’s letter, to the insurance company.

Then there’s dorm insurance. Coverage is usually affordable, and it’s something you might want to consider with all the expensive things teens have these days. 

Dorm insurance covers all the stuff that your kid may be taking with them to college. If something happens, it’s one way that you can get reimbursement for loss or damage.

And although you may have some coverage for your kid through a homeowners policy, CR says dorm insurance or even renters insurance might be a cheaper option -- a few hundred dollars a year -- because deductibles are often higher with homeowners insurance.

When it comes to saving money while your kids are at college, CR suggests scaling back your auto insurance if your student doesn’t have a car there. Also, make sure to take advantage of tax breaks offered to parents of dependent students.

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