Insurance/risk management students offer tips for ensuring losses are covered

January 29 2008

No one likes to think about being affected by a fire or other disaster, but Sunday night’s fire at an Indiana State University residence hall that impacted more than 400 students showed how unexpected life can be.

Insurance and risk management majors at Indiana State want their fellow students - and their parents - at ISU and elsewhere to be ready when the unthinkable occurs.

Members of Gamma Iota Sigma, the insurance and risk management fraternity at Indiana State, are working to educate students and parents about dealing with an insured loss as well as the steps to take before something happens.

"Our goal is to help people understand that they need to be prepared if a fire, flood, or other disaster occurs. Students specifically need to make sure they are covered if they do incur a loss while living away from home,” said junior Gerald Smith of Avon, president of Indiana State’s Alpha Epsilon chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma.

“One of the biggest steps students - or anyone else, for that matter - can do to prepare is to itemize their possessions,” Smith said. “That way they will be prepared to talk to an insurance agent if they were to incur a loss and receive adequate compensation for that loss.”

Students also should keep receipts for major purchases such as textbooks, electronics or jewelry and keep a hard copy of those receipts in a separate location away from their campus residence, such as their parents’ home, Smith said. Electronic copies can also be helpful, he said.

Students’ losses in college and university residence halls are generally covered under their parents’ homeowners insurance policies, said Mary Ann Boose, professor and coordinator of the insurance and risk management program at Indiana State.

“Most policies provide that personal possessions are covered anywhere in the world. While there are limits on a second home and how many possessions you can move between the two homes, a university residence hall is generally covered in the ‘anywhere in the world’ category,” Boose said.

With many students facing dry cleaning bills or the need to replace severely damaged clothing and other items, they will want to check with their parents’ insurance company to find out just what losses are covered, Boose said.

She offered praise for the more than 40 Gamma Iota Sigma members at Indiana State for using the fire at Blumberg Hall as an opportunity to help educate students not only at ISU but at other campuses.

“This gives our students a chance to be knowledgeable and helpful to their peers,” she said.

Disaster planning check lists and tips for reporting claims are available on the ISU insurance and risk management program’s Web site.

Photos
Gerald Smith, insurance and risk management major
Mary Ann Boose, professor, insurance and risk management

Contacts: Gerald Smith, insurance and risk management major and President, Alpha Epsilon Chapter, Gamma Iota Sigma, Indiana State University, 317-525-4067 or gsmith27@indstate.edu; or Mary Anne Boose, professor and coordinator, insurance and risk management program, College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2106 or m-boose@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

No one likes to think about being affected by a fire or other disaster, but Sunday night's fire at an Indiana State University residence hall that impacted more than 400 students showed how unexpected life can be. Insurance and risk management majors at Indiana State want their fellow students and their parents at ISU and elsewhere to be ready when the unthinkable occurs.

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