Press Release, August 24, 2018 - School is in Session. Your First Homework: Check Your Insurance Needs

Last Updated: August 24, 2018

For more information contact: Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or

​School is in Session.
Your First Homework – Check Your Insurance Needs

Madison, WI—Commissioner Ted Nickel encourages students who are moving on to further their education after high school via technical school or college to review their insurance needs.

"Along with signing up for classes and buying books, now is the time for students to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage," said Commissioner Nickel. "It's important for students to do their personal financial homework and make sure they are protected in case of the unexpected."  

Some Homework Tips

  • Read your policies.

  • Shop around – it pays.

  • Check OCI's website at to see if an agent or company is licensed before doing business with them.

  • Call your insurance agent or company when you are having a problem.

Moving on to technical school or college is a major life event. So it's the appropriate time for students to see if they are still covered under their parent's auto, homeowner's, and health policies. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) has a short publication online, Insurance 101: A Guide to Insurance Basics for College Students, offering tips on items to consider as you start your new chapter.

Even if you're heading out into the workforce after high school, you should still educate yourself about insurance coverage. A list of consumer publications are available on to help you better understand your insurance needs, from life insurance and annuities to health and property insurance.

Consumers should consult with an independent agent for answers to all their insurance questions. Independent agents have the ability to work with multiple companies to find the right policy to fit everyone's insurance needs.

Auto Insurance

  • If you cause an auto accident, you may be responsible for the losses of all other people involved in the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. The amount of money you may have to pay could be substantial. Auto insurance can help protect you by covering these losses.

  • If you are driving a car your parents own, you should still be covered under their insurance. But if you buy your own car, remember that anyone operating a motor vehicle in Wisconsin is required to have an active motor vehicle liability insurance policy.

  • Drivers must also be able to provide proof of liability coverage if they are pulled over or involved in an accident. This applies to drivers of mopeds and motorcycles, too. Consider asking your insurance agent for information about special policies for motor vehicles other than cars.

Renter's Insurance

  • Students renting an off-campus house or apartment while away at school should consider purchasing a renter's insurance policy. Renter's insurance is usually fairly inexpensive and covers your belongings if they happen to be stolen or damaged by a fire or tornado. It also insures you in case someone is injured while at your house or apartment.

"Students need to understand the landlord's insurance only covers the building, NOT your personal possessions," continued Commissioner Nickel.

  • If you are moving into a dorm, your personal property is usually covered under your parents' homeowner's policy.

Health Insurance

  • Under federal law, adult children up through age 26 are able to remain on their parents' health insurance plan under certain conditions.

  • Many colleges an universities offer student insurance. Make sure to read the policy carefully.

  • An individual who does lose his or her eligibility for coverage as a dependent under their parents' group health insurance plan may still have the right to continue group coverage for a period of time under the federal COBRA law. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website for more information at Health Plans & Benefits: Continuation of Health Coverage – COBRA.    

  • Individuals are able to buy coverage through the private market (either on- or off- the federal exchange) on a guaranteed issue basis during open enrollment or when a special enrollment period is triggered.

Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.