Protect your children while away at school

By HUB SmartCoverage Team on September 8th, 2021

There is a lot to think about when your son or daughter heads off to school. While some things might be forgotten about during this busy time, don’t let insurance be one of them.

Depending on whether they will be in residence or living off-campus, there are various ways to protect your child, and it's important to advise your insurance broker of the changes. It will also make sure you’re qualifying for all the right discounts. After all, why pay more if you don’t have to?

Ways to save on auto insurance

While your child is away here are some discounts that may help you save on vehicle insurance:

  • Student Away from Home- If your child is attending college or university away from home, they’ll likely be driving less. Most insurers will offer a discount for a child you have listed on your policy as an occasional driver.
  • Good grades– Many insurers offer a small discount for students who work hard and get good grades. All that studying pays off!
  • Driver’s Ed training– When learning to drive if your child has taken an approved driver’s training course, they can qualify for additional savings.

Is your child taking their wheels to school? Tell your broker. They’ll need to be listed as the primary driver to have the proper coverage. Also, if they’re attending school out of province, your insurer will need to know that too.

You may get a multi-vehicle discount if the vehicle they’re taking to school is in your name and listed on your existing auto insurance policy.

Why home insurance matters

Expensive laptops, iPads, and cellphones are a reality of university life these days. Since these items are attractive to thieves, check with your broker to see if your child qualifies under your existing coverage or if you need to add additional insurance to cover them.

Most colleges and universities state in their residency agreement they are not responsible for stolen property and liability coverage for injury or damage. Western University’s Move-in and Planning Guide, for example, tells incoming students to get insured before heading to campus.

If living off-campus, landlords may require students to get tenant insurance. The good news? It’s affordable. Such insurance covers:

  • Contents:Theft of items or if they are damaged by flood or fire. This insurance covers the cost of replacing them up to a certain limit and this coverage extends beyond the home too. If your child’s bike is stolen from outside the library, tenant insurance would help with the replacement cost.
  • Personal Liability:Covers against injury claims, such as slip and falls, and costs associated with lawsuits.
  • Living Expenses: Generally, it covers temporary accommodations and expenses if your child cannot live on the property due to a covered loss.

If multiple roommates are sharing one property – as is often the case among university or college students – it’s important each has their own insurance coverage, and everyone is named on the lease. If only one person is listed on the lease, he or she will be held liable in a case of damage or injury.

Parents should also remember if they’re extending their home policy to cover their child at school, if a claim is made on their behalf, then it counts against their policy and would affect a claims-free discount.

Regardless of whether your child is covered under your home insurance or has their own policy, take a detailed inventory of what they’ll be bringing to school to share with your insurer. If something happens, you’ll be glad you did!

Bottom line? Taking these steps will offer you some peace of mind while your child is hitting the books at school.

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