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Tips for Students Heading Away to School

July 31, 2012

Heading away to study at university or college away from home is exciting, and there is a lot to think about and plan for. Insurance is one of those things that both the parent and the student should be sure to take care of before the school year begins. There are a few important things to consider regarding both car insurance and coverage for personal property.

Student Drivers Away at School

How you handle the car insurance while a student is away at school depends on a few factors. First, if the student is taking a car with them to school you will need to decide whether to keep the car on the current policy, or obtain a separate policy for the student.

In most cases it will be more expensive for a young driver to take out their own policy. They may lose all of the discounts available when on their parents’ policy. If the young driver is the registered owner of a vehicle they must take out their own policy as the parents have no insurable interest in the vehicle.

If the student is not taking a car with them, but remains a dependant of parents, the car insurance company may apply a discount on the student’s portion of the premium. Speak with your insurance professional to determine what is best for your situation.

Protecting Personal Property

Insurance for the personal property of a student studying away from home can be handled in a couple ways depending on the situation. If the student will be living in a dorm room, all of their personal property may have coverage under the home insurance of the parents.

However, if the student is taking up residence in a private home or apartment, the coverage extension may not apply. Check with your insurance professional to see what your insurance company’s rules are. Tenant’s insurance, or renter’s insurance, is a simple, affordable way to get coverage for personal property when living in a rental home. Remember that the landlord’s insurance will only provide coverage for the building itself, and not for things like that expensive laptop you just bought for school.

Health Insurance Concerns

Students who are studying outside of Canada may need to obtain a private health insurance policy, as provincial insurance coverage does not extend beyond the border. The cost of medical care in other countries can be very high, so the premium on a health insurance policy could be a good investment to avoid a huge bill if there is an accident or illness. A good insurance plan may also cover routine care as needed when away at school.

Within Canada, many students can continue to be covered on their parents’ private health insurance coverage in addition to the provincial health plan. It’s important to check on the rules of any supplemental plans such as dental or vision that the student is currently covered under to see what coverage is extended and at what point the coverage is no longer available. In some cases the student must be full-time and there is an age limit to how long they can stay on the plan.

Taking out a supplemental plan for a student may be a good idea no matter where they plan to study. It can protect you from a number of unexpected expenses that may not be covered under provincial plans. If you don’t currently have coverage for things like dental, vision, and prescription coverage, there are a number of private plans available.

Make sure that going off to school is a stress-free as possible for everyone by making sure that all the necessary protection is in place. No matter where your child is headed, send them off covered for all of the possibilities, so that they can focus on studying and not worry about the cost of things like health care or what would happen in a car accident. Your insurance professional can make sure you have the right policies in place for every student.