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Company offers tuition insurance with COVID-19 protections amid pandemic

Posted at 5:46 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 11:17:48-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — People buy insurance for a lot of things, but most people probably never think of buying it for college tuition. Now one company is offering insurance with what they call 'COVID-19 protections.'

“College is a huge investment, for most families it's the second-largest they'll ever make after buying a home, and so finding ways to protect that investment is really important," said Natalie Tarangioli, marketing and content specialist for GradGuard, a company that offers things like tuition and renters insurance to students.

Tarangioli says lately, tuition insurance has seen a huge spike in interest due to the pandemic, which rattled the country’s education system this spring. She says students that may get sick with COVID-19 and need to leave school would be eligible for filing a tuition insurance claim.

“Even before coronavirus, we’re talking about Mono, concussions, anxiety, depression, these illnesses are on the rise. And even things like PTSD and Celiac Disease. We are seeing students withdraw for these reasons all the time," she said.

Filing a claim is possible after a doctor recommends a student withdraw from their classes due to COVID-19 or any other illness. But could it cover more? Many students earlier this year took issue with schools having to switch from in-person instruction to online instruction. Tarangioli says that would not be grounds for filing a claim.

“There was no real loss of instruction, classes just moved online and tuition insurance is just for medical withdrawals so no tuition insurance would have covered that in the spring," she said.

Still, the insurance does give peace of mind for those heading into the school year amid uncertain times. Tarangioli recommends you do research on your school’s refund policies first before pulling the trigger on insurance.

“This gives families the opportunity to go home, get better, get the care and treatment they may need, and then come back when they are well enough to do so," she said.

Tarangioli says some schools even offer their own tuition insurance for better rates. Tuition insurance must be bought before the start date of the semester.