The Back to School Guide: Insurance Tips and Essentials

It’s that time of year again, back to school for your children!

While it may be a celebration for some and an emotional empty nest for others, you can still have a hand in protecting these young adults while they learn to grow into their own. Whether their destination is to an on or off campus residence, your Homeowner’s policy can extend coverage for your child’s contents & liability while they are away.

Contents Coverage

It is important to note that every carrier is different and has their own qualifications and limits. However, a typical Homeowner’s policy includes $5,000 to $10,000 in contents coverage for your student away. Bear in mind, their claim becomes your claim.

Generally, your student needs to be attending full-time at a recognized university or college. Their contents can include items usual to a student such as their textbooks, electronics, clothing, bathroom & kitchenware, as well as small appliances, and furnishings.

Special limits, found in your policy, will still apply – but you can consider scheduling these valuable items for their full value. For instance, special limits have a $2,500 maximum for bicycles. But, if your child has a $6,000 road bike, you will want to discuss with your Broker on scheduling the bicycle for the full amount.


Tenant’s (Renter’s) Insurance

As the world becomes more advanced and digitized, student’s gear has become more expensive. When you review what they plan to bring with them, you may find your limits won’t cover them adequately. In this case, it may be best to consider their own tenants’ policy. These policies typically range from $20 to $40 per month; an affordable peace of mind for the whole family that paves the way for their property insurance history.

A separate tenant’s policy will allow your child to itemize their belongings and purchase the limit that covers their valuables more suitably. There are additional risks students away are more susceptible to due to the nature of post-secondary housing. For example, as group studies and parties are inherent, and a variety of guests might walk through their doors over the year, theft and damage aren’t out of the question.

Their living situation is relevant to the type of policy they will need, whether they have their own unit or are sharing a home with others. Make sure you advise us if your child is sharing their housing, as a regular tenant’s package won’t provide the necessary coverages.


Liability Coverage

If your Homeowner’s policy has coverage for a student away, it will also include your liability limit as an extension to where they are located. Liability is coverage for property damage and bodily injury, covering both legal and medical fees where applicable.

You can also provide extra protection by purchasing an Umbrella Liability policy. These policies are relatively inexpensive and offer excess liability and sometimes additional coverages. These policies come into effect the second your primary policy’s limits are used up – this way you don’t have to dip into your personal savings.


Automobile Savings

Often at this point your child is also listed on your Automobile policy, now that they’re a distance away for most of the year – you deserve to save! If your student is listed as an Occasional Operator or Secondary Driver on your Automobile policy, make sure to give us a call to advise they are off to college/university.

Most insurance company’s offer a Student Away Discount. You can save money, but they’ll still be able to borrow the car when they come home for the holidays!

If they are listed as a primary on a vehicle, or taking a vehicle with them, contact your personal Customer Service Representative to find out how this impacts your insurance. This way you can be confident you both will still have coverage, and may find additional ways to save!

*All of the above information is provided as a courtesy to our Lawrie Insurance Group customers and should not be taken as a replacement for current information found in your homeowner’s policy wordings. Please contact your personal Customer Service Broker for any questions specific to your policy and needs.

Class Is In Session!

Contact us and ask your personal LIG Customer Service Representative on what essentials you need to get your student off on the right foot.