For Immediate Release:
August 2, 2023
Insurance Tips for Back-to-School Season
By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
As the parent of three sons—one in undergrad, one in grad school and one starting his professional career, I understand how exciting (and a little scary) this time can be for students and parents. Whether you are a recent high school graduate going into college or a nervous parent getting ready for your child’s first day, it is important to review your insurance policies to ensure your entire family is adequately protected.
As the school year gets underway across the state, I’d like to remind Oklahomans that having proper insurance can provide greater peace of mind and protect your family from financial disaster. Here are insurance tips to help make your back-to-school season go more smoothly.
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 let you know if they buy a new computer or other pricey items. You should double check with your agent or insurance company to ensure your coverage will cover these items.
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 can range between $13-$30 a month, depending on the location and 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.
Oklahoma requires every car 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 car 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.
If your student is heading to college without a vehicle, you might be eligible for a “student away at school” car insurance discount. Check with your insurance agent or company and let them know where the car will be stored if the address differs from what’s on your policy.
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 on an 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 from school to 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, you can file a complaint at oid.ok.gov/complaint. The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance team is here to help mediate claims between policyholders and insurance companies.
If you have insurance-related questions or concerns, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at www.oid.ok.gov.