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August 26, 2021

Off to College? Check your insurance coverage

Most family discussions about postsecondary education centre on finding the money to get there. But there are other issues parents need to worry about before Labour Day rolls around.

Like what happens if some light-handed thief walks off with all their stuff.

Chances are, when you send junior off to university, you’re also sending along a small arsenal of expensive equipment – laptop, smart phone, iPod, television and maybe a top-of-the-line mountain bike – that might be of interest to certain fellow students.

As long as your children are full-time students and expected to return home during the summer, their belongings are usually covered by your homeowner’s policy, assuming they live in residence.

If they move off campus, however, they might need to purchase their own renters insurance policy. Some home insurance policies may limit the amount of insurance for off-premises belongings to a small percentage of the total amount of coverage for your family’s personal possessions. As a result, laptops and other expensive electronics may not be fully covered.

Similarly, students in off-campus housing will need renter's insurance for both property and liability. Renter’s insurance is just like traditional homeowner’s insurance except, since students aren’t covering the property itself, it’s much cheaper, generally 30% of what you might pay at home.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...