Off-premises coverage protects your personal belongings when they're at a location other than your home. File photo
Before you send your college student off with their iPhones, laptops and other personal belongings, it's a good idea to check on your home insurance's "off-premises" coverage to see if those items are covered while your student is living in a dorm.
Kevin Turner, director of insurance product management for Kin Insurance, says homeowners may need to add a rider to their policy to make sure there is enough protection for their student's belongings.
"The off-premise coverage that comes standard in a home insurance policy usually won't be enough to protect all their belongings adequately," Turner said. "You may want to add a rider to your policy to increase off-premises coverage limits."
So what exactly is off-premises coverage and what does it cover?
"Off-premises coverage protects your personal belongings when they're at a location other than your home (excluding your car)," Turner said.
Most homeowners don't think about their insurance coverage and the loss of their belongings when they are away from home but it can provide protection, according to Turner.
"It is included in the personal property portion (Coverage C) of your home insurance policy," he said. "So, if you're on vacation and your laptop is stolen from your hotel room, your home insurance policy can cover that loss. The catch is this protection is pretty limited -- typically it's 10 percent of your personal property limit or $1,000, whichever is greater."
Homeowners may wonder how much it will hit their wallet if they want to make sure they have off-premises coverage.
"It is usually included in the personal property coverage portion of your home insurance policy," Turner said. "To increase the limits of this coverage, you may need to add a rider to the policy, which will increase your premium."