Tuition insurance has been around for some time but has generated an increased level of interest from students and families in light of the pandemic. Tuition insurance covers tuition, room and board and other fees a family has paid should the student need to withdraw from school, typically for medical reasons. It generally costs 1% to 5% of the insured value, so $10,000 of coverage would cost between $100-$500.

Should you buy it? It depends, and you should do your homework first. Start by asking your school what their refund policies are. Many schools have a window in which you can withdraw and get a refund of tuition and fees and pro-rated room and board. Many have specific refund policies for this fall based on what happens with the pandemic. Some have payment plans that already include insurance.

You should also find out what the policy does and does not cover, and what’s required to collect. For example, if your school shut down for the quarter due to a COVID outbreak but your student remained healthy, would that qualify as a medical event? Would the policy cover a lease at a private, off-campus apartment? Would it provide a refund of any kind of the school again switched to remote learning and sent students home?

Should you feel that tuition insurance is a fit for your family, shop around since costs may vary. Some schools offer tuition insurance directly; it’s also available through third parties like GradGuard and AWG Dewar and some larger insurance companies.