What Losses May be Covered When A Boy Goes To College?

NickI am kicking out launching my last child into adulthood come this fall.  Nicholas Duffy O’Brien will be attending Montana State University in Bozeman as a freshman on scholarship.

It is often called “Mantana State U.”   The boy to girl ratio is about 6:4.  They compensate for the lack of women.  There is fly fishing, skiing, rappelling, ice climbing, snowboarding, kayaking, buffalo, elk, moose, grizzlies, camping, hunting and brutally cold weather – all just a few steps away from campus.  Dorms have storage lockers for your hunting rifles and your skiis.  At orientation last week, college officials kept telling us outsiders that Montana is a “gun culture” state.  I am not sure what to think.  The average Montanan who does owns guns has about 27.     https://www.hcn.org/issues/351/17146/print_view

My Nick is drawn to adventure like a moth to a flame.  MSU is a perfect fit for him.  But there are more risks there.  This got me thinking:  what type of losses would be covered while he is away?

Lap top theft:  yes, if he is living in the dorm.  But losses are limited to a certain percentage under my homeowners policy, so I will be looking to add this coverage by endorsement for a small sum.  If he moves out of the dorm, I will have to obtain a renters policy for these types of losses.

Personal injuries:  yes, but subject to a greatly increased out-of-network deductible under my health policy.  The good news is that MSU charges a separate fee for its health service on campus.  A student cannot opt out of this fee.  For this reason, I will encourage Nick to see out the MSU health clinic for minor injuries and illnesses in order to avoid the out of network co-pay and increased deductible. 

Auto Accidents:   it depends.  Nick will not have a car there on campus.  If he is driving a friend’s car and causes an accident, he should be covered as a permissive user under this friend’s policy.  If his friend lacks car insurance, my own auto policy probably would not cover such a loss.  An auto policy “follows the car,” not the person.    

Bad Judgment:    probably not.   He is 18.  The only “insurance” I can provide is the “coverage” I have offered ad nauseum in the past:  always – and in everything – you must consistently be a dependable, kind man of integrity, honesty, and fortitude.  I am awfully proud of this boy man.  His Daddy died when Nick was just a young boy.  That is a tender age to lose a model for manhood.  No one was there to show him how to properly set a lure, mow a lawn, field dress a deer, fix a clogged drain, give up your seat to someone older or handicapped, call out a strike or a ball, replace your divots and honestly mark your score, share what you have with the less fortunate, or to treat everyone equally from presidents to paupers with kindness and respect.  When every standard of behavior is a “MOM RULE,” a lot of it becomes white noise and difficult to sift through as a boy lurching into manhood.  Yet he has gleaned all of this goodness on his own.  Nick has modeled it for himself.  

Will he make mistakes?  Of course he will.  But I am hoping that he is so uncomfortable when he briefly does step outside of his boundaries that he will quickly come back around to what he knows, leaving any bad judgment by the wayside as he grows up.  This was the only kind of “insurance” that I have been able to provide for him:  a very clear set of boundaries about what is right and wrong.    Although to be truthful, he had already obtained this “coverage” on his own. 


    I am mighty proud of this fine young man.  

Nick 2