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How to Insure Your Children While they are Away at School

With the new school year fast approaching, you may be getting your child ready to go off to college or university for the first time.  It can be exciting and potentially nerve-wracking for everyone, as this might be the first time they have lived away from home.  There is always a lot to do before starting a school year, from your typical back-to-school shopping and making sure they have everything they need to succeed in the new school year. However, in the whirlwind of everything else, you may have forgotten about insurance while your child is away at school.    Are they covered while they are away?  Do you need to make any changes to your policy?  Please keep reading to find out everything you need to know about insuring your child while away at school.

The first part of insuring children while they are away at school is making sure they have insurance for all the stuff they are bringing with them or buying, such as clothes, shoes, textbooks, food, laptops, etc.  You should add up roughly how much everything costs to have a good idea of how much contents insurance you will need.  Most insurance policies include automatic coverage for students away from school that covers their contents up to a specific limit.  The insurance limit could be a dollar limit, such as $10,000 or a percentage of how much content you have on your home insurance policy.  You should check with your insurance company to make sure the automatic limit they include is enough for all your child’s contents while they are away. 

The next item to consider is liability insurance.  On most home insurance policies, liability is automatically included for kids away at school if they are still financially dependent on you.  Now is an excellent time to review your liability limit to make sure it is adequate.  It would be best to let your insurance company know your child will be going to school and where they will make notes on your file.  Taking this step helps if you have a claim, as the company already has some basic information on file.

You may also want to consider a tenant insurance policy if they don’t plan on coming back home during the summer months.  A tenant’s policy has a few benefits and is usually quite affordable, starting at around $25/month.  The first benefit is that you can choose the contents limit they need, which is important if they take a large number of items to school with them, and the cost to replace everything would be over the limit your company automatically provides.  The next benefit is that if they have a claim, it won’t be made against your home insurance policy, which means your rates won’t be affected.  Lastly, it is helpful for your child to start their insurance history, and a tenant policy is a great way to start that history.  Just so you are aware, not all companies will be willing to offer tenant policies to students, especially if they live in a house with many roommates.  

The next major decision is what you plan to do with the car they have been driving all summer.  Are they going to take it with them to school?  Will it stay at home?   If you plan to let your child take it to school with them, make sure you obtain a quote from your insurance company.  The rate might be much different than you are currently paying due to no longer qualifying for multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts. Finally, if they are moving far away, then the area they are moving to might be much more expensive (or cheaper) for insurance. 

If you aren’t planning on letting your child take a car to school with them, then you may qualify for an additional discount depending on how far away from home they will be.  Be sure to tell your insurance company, and they can let you know if you qualify for the discounts, which can be up to 50%.

Lastly, most insurance companies offer discounts if your child does well in school.  Typically called the Good Student Discount, it can provide up to a 20% discount if your child has above an 80% average.  You will need to provide a copy of their report card or transcript to show their average.  It might be an extra incentive for them to do well in school, especially if they share the cost of insuring the car with you.

We understand that sending your child off to school in a different city can be a nerve-wracking time for any parent. So please give our office a call at 905-623-4406, and we can help you choose the best option to make sure they are covered while they are away.