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 -- leaving some families to wonder if there’s any way to protect their money in case of emergency.
“It’s just very expensive. And it’s an investment. So you’re making an investment in your kid,” said Amy Miller who has two daughters in college.
Because you never know when something could go 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. In that case the tuition insurance would refund you for the portion your child did not receive,” explained Consumer Reports Money Editor Penny Wang.
And that’s on top of what your kid’s school may refund you. So, after checking the college’s refund policy, Wang says there’s something else to do.
“Check the coverage terms to see what precise conditions are covered and what is needed. But generally medical records, a doctor’s letter -- you’ll need to send that into the insurance company,” she said.
Then, there’s dorm insurance. In general, coverage is affordable and Wang says 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 him or her to college. If something happens, it’s one way that you can get coverage, reimbursement for loss, damage,” she said.
And although you may have some coverage for your kid with a homeowners policy, Wang says dorm insurance or even renters insurance might be a cheaper option -- a few hundred dollars a year -- since deductibles are often higher with homeowners insurance.
When it comes to saving money while your kids are at college, Consumer Reports 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.