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Parents: Ensure Your College Student's Property is Protected While Away at School

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (August 20, 2014) -- Hundreds of thousands of kids are going away to college in the next few weeks, meaning they’ll be on their own for the first time.  This new-found independence, however, brings a unique set of challenges.

College students’ lives are powered by technology – TVs, iPads, laptops, gaming consoles and cell phones – all of which can create temptation for people with “sticky fingers.”

Another potential danger is fire.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2007 – 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 3,806 structure fires in dorms, frats, sororities and barracks.

“Smart parents check their homeowners insurance policy to ensure their kids’ belongings are covered away at school,” says Stephanie Behnke, claims innovation director for Mercury Insurance.  “Unfortunately, it’s it an all-too-common experience for many students to find that an iPad or laptop has gone missing from a dorm room. Companies like Mercury offer policies that cover kids’ belongings when they’re living away from home.”

Behnke offers parents and students some additional tips:

  • Create an inventory and calculate the value of all possessions taken to school, which establishes an accurate record and helps parents determine whether they have sufficient coverage.
  • Purchase locks to attach to larger items like TVs and computers, and have a small safe to hold valuable documents (e.g., passport and social security card) and jewelry.
  • Students and parents can purchase additional protection via renters insurance, which is often inexpensive and covers personal property.

“You should also consider keeping college students on your auto policy even if they don’t have a car at school,” says Behnke. “Mercury provides a discounted rate for kids who go away to college and don’t have a car with them, plus it can provide critical protection if they get into an accident while riding in someone else’s car. And remember, college students may be eligible for a good student discount if they maintain at least a 3.0 in college.

“Every situation is unique; there’s no one-size-fits-all insurance solution. So, be sure to talk to an insurance agent to determine what coverage extends to the new college student.  College is a life-changing experience, and having the right insurance can help smooth the way if life gets a little bumpy.”


Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization offering predominantly personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent agents in California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices – core values that distinguish Mercury in the marketplace.

For further information: Kyle Reuter (424) 903-3657 (

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