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Make going back to college smooth and easy with these tips. Source: Erie Insurance

Erie, Pa. / PRNewswire -- If your child is among the millions of students heading off to college this month, you're probably busy helping them gather all the things they need for life away from home. One of the things that you'll want to discuss with them, before they leave, is how to keep their car and their belongings safe and protected.

Erie Insurance highlights five of the most common questions parents of college students often ask.

1. Are my child's belongings covered by my homeowners policy when he/she goes back to college? 

Students often take expensive items to school like laptops, bikes and TVs which can be pricey to replace if damaged or stolen items. 

The good news is that most insurers' homeowners policies are designed to cover your child if something is stolen or destroyed. Many insurance companies, including Erie, insure full-time students, under the age of 24, automatically under their parents' policy. Part-time students and/or students who are 24 and older may need to take out a renters insurance policy to protect themselves and their belongings.

2. Does insurance coverage differ if my child is living in a dorm versus an apartment? 

Your children's personal property is generally covered under your homeowners policy if they're away from home. However, when students choose to live in an apartment, they should consider purchasing a separate renters insurance policy, which can provide for additional living expenses if an apartment becomes uninhabitable because of something like a fire. 

3. What steps can my child take to safeguard his or her belongings? 

It's a good idea to talk with your child about this since more than 12,000 burglaries were reported on U.S. campuses in 2016 alone. In addition to taking personal safety precautions, your child will also want to keep these tips in mind: Always lock the doors, create a home inventory, and fireproof items around his or her home.

4. Do I need to make any adjustments to my child's auto coverage if she's away at school?  

Because you'll have one less driver living at home when your son or daughter goes off to college, your household might get a discount if the child doesn't take the car to college. If your child does take a car to school, review your coverage with an insurance agent to make sure he or she is properly insured.

5. Are college kids eligible for any discounts? 

This is an important question to ask your insurance agent. Erie Insurance, for example, has a college student auto discount that applies to young, unmarried, full-time college students who spend most of the year away from home without the use of a vehicle. 

Parents with kids off to college have plenty on their minds already; having a solid plan for insuring their belongings helps ease at least a little stress.

Whether they’re studying, eating, sleeping... no insurance agent can make that guarantee.

 SOURCE Erie Insurance