Teen is Going to College
The moment has come; the boxes are unpacked, the bed is made, pictures are on the wall, and the snack cupboard is fully stocked. It’s time to say goodbye, and in your stomach, you feel an odd mixture of pride and joy, anxiety, and sentimentality. Can this bright young college student who is positively vibrating with excitement REALLY be your little one who just learned to walk?
It’s hard to let go.
But as a parent, you’ve spent the last 18 years raising your child to be ready for these first steps into a life of their own. And you did a great job — otherwise, they wouldn’t be here.
Still, you want to make sure they’re fully protected as they sail off with their well-wishes, dreams and challenges.
Reid & Bradley’s Insurance can provide you with guidance on what insurance you’ll need, and what you won’t need for this life-altering event. The following are some points to consider when it comes to your college student’s insurance needs:
- Auto Insurance
- Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
- Health Insurance
You might think that if your student goes away to school and doesn’t take a car, you can drop him from your auto policy and save some extra money. But what if he comes back for Christmas break and wants the car to visit friends? Or, what if he is away at college and his friends ask him to be a “designated driver” one evening?
If your student doesn’t take a car to school, we recommend that you keep them listed on the policy for a number of reasons:
- They will be fully protected if they return home for a weekend visit and wants to drive.
- They will have insurance protection when they’re driving a friend’s car while away, and that vehicle isn’t adequately insured.
- Even if they don’t take a car to school, they’ll be fully protected if they are hit by a car while walking or bicycling, or while being a passenger in somebody else’s car.
- Keeping them on your auto policy maintains continuous insurance coverage, which may be beneficial when they get their own auto insurance policy.
As a full-time student, your child may qualify for a Good Student Discount (if they maintain a grade average of 3.0 or higher). Make sure to let us know, and provide us with a copy of the transcript or a letter from a college adviser; the savings can be significant!
You can also apply for the Distant Student Discount if your child attends college 100 miles or more away from home.
If your student takes a car to school, he or she can still remain on your auto policy. In fact, your child should, since it is usually much more expensive for young divers and students to have their own policy. Be sure to notify us about the new garaging address: Not only do insurance companies prefer that, but it may also save you money, particularly if your student attends college in a less-populated area of the province.
Full-time college students can usually remain covered on their parents’ auto policy if their primary address is the parents’ house, even if they attend college out of province. Make sure that the policy meets the minimum auto liability requirements for that province.
If your student owns the vehicle and holds the title, they’ll need their own auto policy.
Reid & Bradley’s Insurance specializes in properly insuring your college student. We will review your situation and make sure all coverage is current and adequate.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
You’ve bought your daughter a brand new laptop and printer as a graduation gift. She’s going out of town as a full time student. Will these valuable electronics be insured from theft, vandalism or a fire?
If your child continues to live in your household, his or her belongings are covered under your policy.
If your child stays in a dorm room on campus and you, the parents, have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance for your home, your insurance policy will extend to cover their belongings, up to a 10 per cent limit of your personal property coverage.
That means, if your homeowner’s or renter’s policy has a limit of $200,000 for personal property, there will be coverage for up to $20,000 for your child’s belongings. Keep in mind that coverage is subject to your renter’s or homeowner’s policy deductible, usually $500 – $1,000.
Check with us to make sure the personal property limit on your homeowner’s policy is adequate. You might need additional coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, musical instruments, or certain sports equipment.
Please note: Will your child return home, or travel abroad for a long period of time during their time at college? If they leave their belongings behind in a dorm or fraternity / sorority house for more than 45 days, your homeowner’s policy will no longer cover those belongings.
In that situation, it’s important to either ship the belongings home during extended absences or temporarily store the items in a commercial storage facility.
If your college student lives in his or her own place off-campus, or shares an off-campus house or apartment with friends, things get a little trickier. You might have to set up a separate renter’s policy for your child. That will not only cover his or her “stuff”, but also provide liability coverage in case somebody gets hurt while at their property. In addition, many landlords have made renter’s insurance a requirement of the lease. Renter’s insurance policies are usually quite affordable, generally less than $15 per month.
Depending on your child’s particular situation, there might be some other variables that need to be considered. This is where an independent insurance brokerage (like us) really come in handy!
If your student is about to move into his or her own place, give us a call. We can help you navigate through the insurance-jungle and make sure you get the best value and protection for your money.
One-Stop Insurance Shopping
Having a child go off to school is a roller coaster ride. There is so much to think about, not to mention the whirlwind of emotions. Get yourself and your student the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to your auto, homeowners and health insurance protection. When life’s emergencies are dealt with by a competent pro, it’s one less thing to think about.
Our team at Reid & Bradley’s Insurance specializes in family protection plans. Our family-oriented brokerage has helped thousands of clients get prepared for the changing insurance needs of new college students and their families, while making sure they get the best protection for their insurance dollar. We know where to look to find the discounts!
Contact us today for a free review of you and your student’s insurance plan.