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College tuition insurance: What it does and does not cover

Education

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — You may not have heard about college tuition insurance, but the topic has increasingly become of interest to college students and their families.

“Tuition insurance is still a relatively new concept,” said Natalie Tarangioli of GradGuard, a Massachusetts-based company that offers the service. “It wasn’t needed 30 years ago when college wasn’t so expensive and refund policies were more generous.”

Allianz, who has their North American headquarters located in Richmond, provides tuition insurance through their partner GradGuard.

“It’s really growing in popularity since the spring when coronavirus was declared a pandemic,” added Tarangioli.

Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary are among the local schools offering tuition insurance. The University of Richmond, for instance, outlines tuition protection and notes that, “After the 6th week of the term, there is no refund for withdrawal.”

Tuition insurance focuses on health, but it’s important to know what is and what isn’t covered. This kind of information is key for those who may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it could impact the upcoming semester.

“This would be covered if a student becomes ill with COVID and completes a medical withdrawal, just as they would for any ordinary ailment besides COVID,” said Tarangioli. “So this is not fear of attending school. This is not, ‘I need to quarantine because I may have been exposed’ or, ‘My roommate may have been exposed.’ And this is not, ‘I changed my mind and want to go home.'”

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