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Do Your Homework on Insurance Needs and Coverage

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News Release | Minnesota Commerce Department urges college students and their families to do homework on insurance needs and coverage

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Minnesota Department of Commerce News Release Header

August 19, 2016

Minnesota Commerce Department urges college students and their families to do homework on insurance needs and coverage

For Immediate Release:

With many Minnesota students headed off to college this
month, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is encouraging families to do
some advance homework on their students’ insurance needs while at school.

Even as students look
forward to college, they also need to think ahead to protect themselves against
risks and unforeseen costs,” said Rothman, whose agency regulates the insurance
industry. “Parents also want the peace of mind and financial security that
insurance can provide when their child is away at school. It’s important to
take some time to do your homework both to confirm what insurance coverage you
already have and to shop around for any additional coverage that might be

Rothman offers the following tips for both parents and
college students compiled by the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners (NAIC).

Auto Insurance

If your student is taking a car to school, check with your
agent about your current auto insurance policy. Ask about rates for the
college’s city and state before deciding whether to keep the student’s car on
the family’s policy.

If your student maintains good grades, let the insurance
company know. Good grades can save money with a discount on the insurance premium.

The WreckCheck smartphone app from the NAIC will help if your
student is involved in a crash. It offers a step-by-step process to create an
accident report and file an insurance claim. WreckCheck is available free at
iPhone and Android app stores.

Renters Insurance

Many students bring thousands of dollars’ worth of personal
items to school, including electronics, furniture and bicycles.

If your student is living on campus, confirm with your agent
that your homeowners policy will cover the student’s personal possessions. If the
student is living off campus, renters insurance should be considered because
the landlord’s policy will not cover a renter’s damaged or stolen personal property.
Renters insurance can also provide liability coverage
against a medical claim or lawsuit if, for example, someone slips and
gets hurt while at your apartment.

Students should maintain an up-to-date inventory list of
personal possessions and keep it in a secure location. A photo or video
inventory is even better.

The NAIC offers a smartphone app that makes it easier to
document your student’s valuables and store the information for easy access
when needed. It’s available free at the
iPhone and Android
app stores. If you prefer the low-tech method, the Minnesota Commerce
Department website also offers a
Home Inventory Checklist
that can be printed out and completed.

 Health Insurance

Nearly all young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their
parents’ health insurance plans because of the Affordable Care Act. Marital
status, financial dependency, enrollment in school and location don’t affect
this option.

If the family insurance plan has a network of preferred medical
providers, confirm that in-network providers are available where your student
is attending college. That can make a big difference for out-of-pocket costs
for care. At school, students should have their health insurance cards and know
how and where to seek medical treatment.

Another coverage option is a student health insurance plan
purchased through the college. Check with your college about availability and the
details of coverage and costs.

Commerce is here to help

If you have a question or concern
about insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by
email at

or by phone at 651-539-1600 or
800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 |


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