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Texas Department of Insurance
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August 4, 2022

How college students can stay healthy, safe, and protect their stuff

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Shopping, packing, saying goodbyes. Going off to college is a busy time. But don’t forget to build in time to talk to your college student about using their health plan and staying safe in their dorm or apartment.

Where can college students go if they get sick?

Most health plans pay for visits to urgent care clinics or virtual doctors. Call your plan or go to their website to find out which urgent care centers are nearby and in your plan’s network. Please note that an urgent care center operator that is in network in your hometown may not be in network where your student is living.

Should I drop my college student from my auto policy if they don’t have a car with them?

Probably not. If your student comes home on weekends or holidays and wants to drive, they’ll need auto insurance. The same goes for driving a friend’s car. You’ll want them to have insurance.

What fire safety features should a college student’s dorm or apartment have?

Look for sprinkler systems in the units and hallways. If the building has a fire alarm, ask if there is a beep or a voice telling people to evacuate. Also find out what the evacuation plan is, like the safest routes to get out and where to go.

How can college students avoid fires?

  • Don’t cook on a stove if you’re tired or distracted. You’ll be more likely to walk away or fall asleep and forget about the lit stove.
  • Don’t overload outlets and power strips.
  • Avoid using candles. Too often a nearby item can catch on fire.
  • Ask if dryer vents have been cleaned; clogged vents are a fire hazard.
  • Look at the date on the back of smoke detectors. If the manufacturing date is older than 10 years, ask your landlord to replace it.

Do college students need renters insurance if they live in an apartment?

Your homeowners policy will cover your student’s stuff in an apartment, but the coverage is limited. Renters insurance will offer more coverage and usually pays if your student needs to move if their unit is damaged. The landlord’s insurance covers only the building itself, not your student’s personal property if it’s damaged by a fire or pipe burst.