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Does home insurance protect your kids' valuables while at school?

Does home insurance protect your kids' valuables while at school?

Does home insurance protect your kids' valuables while at college or university?

Congratulations—your child has graduated to the next step in their lives! As exciting a time as this is, it is also a time of worry for many parents. One way to reduce some of this worry is to ensure that your child's belongings are sufficiently protected while they're attending college or university.

Depending on their program and living situation, your teenager may be required to invest in numerous new items ranging from textbooks to furniture and everything in between.

Here’s what you need to know about your home insurance policy to ensure your child is adequately covered when they're away at school. They've got enough to worry about—not having their belongings protected doesn't have to be one of them.

Living at home

If your child will be living at home with you and commuting to school this September, their belongings will remain covered under your home insurance policy. As no changes to the living situation are taking place, your policy remains the same unless you choose to take out additional coverage (called a rider) on any big-ticket items you purchase for your child, such as a new laptop or equipment that is related to their studies.

Living in student residence

Your child's belongings will remain covered under your home insurance policy even when they are living in residence—up to an extent.

Most policies extend coverage to students in dorms at an amount equivalent to a about 10% of your home insurance policy, depending on your provider. Again, if you've purchased new and/or expensive items for your child you should check with your OTIP insurance broker to ensure you have enough coverage. Additional coverage can be added to your policy to ensure their belongings are fully covered.

One thing to keep in mind is that if your child files a claim related to property the claim would be subject to your deductible. If their laptop is stolen or damaged, for example, you would have to pay the deductible agreed upon in your policy (usually $500 to $1,000) and insurance will cover the rest. It is for this reason some parents choose to take out a rider on big items. These riders can be treated separately from your overall home insurance policy and have their own deductible.

Another thing to note is that there can be limitations to these policies. If your child studies abroad for a semester, for example, and they leave their dorm room unattended for several months, the coverage may no longer be valid. These policies also typically require students to be full-time and returning home during the summer.

Living off campus/renting their own apartment

When a student lives on their own, it's time for them to graduate to their own insurance policy.

A tenants insurance policy (sometimes called renters insurance) works similarly to a home insurance policy. Tenants insurance provides coverage for belongings as well as personal liability insurance. It acts just like your home insurance except it is specific to them and their belongings. Tenants insurance is often quite reasonable—ranging from $150-$250 per year.

If you have any questions about insurance coverage while your child is away at school, feel free to give us a call at 1-866-523-4111. With September just around the corner, it's time to start looking into insurance for your child's valuables and belongings.