It can be a bittersweet moment; the day when your child leaves the nest and heads off to college or university for the first time. Pride and fear take turns as the primary emotions running through your mind.
You have helped get them here. Pushed them perhaps. But the day has finally arrived. You have questions, some of life’s many questions. Are they ready? Are you ready? Have you done all you can to prepare them for this very moment?
You have made sure they have everything they need as they step out on their own. Laptop. iPhone. Bank cards. Household items. School supplies. Confidence. Common sense. The list is endless. And you are probably annoying them with tips on how to do everything from banking to laundry. Everest expeditions are no more prepared! But what about insurance?
While busy shopping for dorm room furniture and helping your child pick the right course you may suddenly wonder: Does my home insurance policy cover my child’s belongings while they’re at university? Even if you never asked this question, the answer may surprise you.
Fact is, almost all standard home insurance coverage can extend beyond your home; to protect you, your loved ones and their belongings. So, even when your child relocates to a university campus, your home insurance can still work to protect them. Worst case, they (or their parents) will have to spend $200 to $300 on tenant insurance.
Practically speaking, protection against theft and certain kinds of damage are good reasons to make sure a student is properly insured. But this kind of insurance also covers students against liability for damage to the home or residence where they’re staying, and against injury claims from visitors.
The coverage your kids have while at university typically has a maximum claim limit, usually $10,000, but what’s available varies by insurance company. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of the belongings your child has at their university accommodation to make sure that you’ve got the full cost of replacement covered in the event something happens.
It is important to keep in mind that your insurance rates can rise if your young academic has a claim against your home coverage. For that reason, it’s important to educate your child on how to protect their belongings. For instance, get them into the routine of preventative maintenance, such as locking their windows and doors while out and placing valuable belongings in drawers and out of sight. By taking these precautions, your child reduces the risk of having to make a claim—but on the off-chance they need to, you can all feel safe and protected with the knowledge that your home insurance has got them covered.
Alternatively, you can think about buying a tenant’s package for your young freshmen. Tenant insurance policy premiums start around $200 a year, with higher costs assigned to bigger cities. Deductibles, the amount you pay if you make a claim, are typically set at $500, though it’s possible to raise that amount to $1,000 and pay a lower premium.
Every insurance provider and policy is different, so talk to your broker to make sure that you have the right coverage to extend to belongings your kids take with them college. This way, that laptop and their expensive smartphone, and flat-screen TV can all be covered from loss and damage.
What to do when your baby goes to university is one of life’s big questions. For this question, and for life’s many other questions, there are answers. You are not alone. We can help provide the answers, so you can make better decisions, help reduce costs and help make sure you are safe.