College-Bound Teens Need Protection More Than Ever

Here are some tips to help them deter thefts

After years of preparing teenagers for college, parents across New Hampshire have finally reached the hardest part: saying goodbye. As you help your college-bound daughter or son move into their new dorm in the coming weeks, parents who are caught up in a whirlwind of emotions may forget to pass along important precautions. Before saying farewell to your young entrepreneur, trend-setter, or future astronaut, the Insurance Center would like to alert families about the prevalence of campus thefts and share a few tips that can help your teen avoid a burglary.

“Moving away to college is one of the most exciting milestones for many kids, but this also comes with new responsibilities they never had to worry about,” said Robert J. Sammon, President of the Insurance Center. “In this hectic schedule that involves moving, meeting new friends, orientation and finally becoming independent, it is easy for first-year college students to forget a few basic precautions.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are over 12,000 burglaries on college campuses every year. While most campuses have public safety offices that regularly communicate about campus thefts, many students do not actively heed the warnings from those offices. This is despite the fact that campus police say the most commonly stolen goods at schools are bicycles, tablets, computers, phones, and cars.

Many of those items, however, may be protected by the parents’ homeowners insurance, according to Sammon. In other cases, parents can call their insurance agent to extend their homeowners insurance policy to protect the belongings of dorm-residing family members. “It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially when a simple call can save students thousands of dollars in the long run,” Sammon said.

Needless to say, preventing a burglary in the first place yields the best outcomes. And with the fall semester fast approaching, here are some tips that may help your student deter thefts.

Lock the Door

It may seem obvious, but locking the doors to your dorm room will prevent strangers from easily stealing your items. Roommates should also be informed about this precaution.  

Secure and Hide Valuables

Thieves are always looking for easy things they can swipe and rarely have time to rummage through belongings. For this reason, college students should hide their electronics and mount electronics, like televisions, to deter would-be thieves.

Register your Belongings

Many schools have property registration programs that could help students retrieve their valuable items. Questions about those programs can be addressed directly by the school’s public safety office.  

Don’t Leave Valuables Unattended in Public Areas

Students should treat the school’s library, cafeteria, or lounge as public areas where items could be stolen. It is important to keep an eye on your belongings when you are in these spaces.

Protect your Transportation

Bicycles are the most commonly stolen items on many college campuses. Needless to say, it is important that students lock their wheels or car doors regardless of the circumstances.

Check your Insurance

Parents can help protect their students from loss by speaking with an Insurance Center agent. Whether it is inquiring about renter’s insurance or checking whether kids are still covered under the family’s auto insurance policy, our agent can help policyholders determine whether additional insurance is needed.

As your son or daughter embarks on the next chapter of their life, the Insurance Center would like to remind parents that their kids may still need parental guidance and protection. To learn how you can protect your college-bound student during these memorable years, speak with one of our agents at 603-542-2551.