It’s your student’s first year away at school and your busy picking up school supplies, furniture, clothing among other things. You’ve arranged the moving van and your student moves into their new place in a couple of weeks. The only thing that you have not thought about is insurance. Why would you? It’s simply something that does not come to mind when there are so many other things to be concerned about. Yet insurance is probably one of the more important items to be considering.
Do you have insurance coverage for the moving van? What about your student’s property? What have you done about the car insurance?
Renting a Moving Van or Trailer
Your personal automobile policy does not provide coverage for moving vans and trucks. For trailers the Ontario car insurance policy provides liability protection for any trailer attached to the vehicle that is less than 4,500 kilograms of GVWR and is not designed or used for living in, to carry passengers, or for commercial purposes. It does not automatically provide physical damage coverage. For both of these situations you may need to purchase the optional coverage provided by car & truck rental agency. Check with your insurance advisor for your own situation.
It may not seem like much, but when you add up the amount of personal property the average student takes away to school, it can range from $5,000 to $10,000 or even more. Items include laptops, electronics, text books, clothing, kitchenware, furniture and bicycles. It’s not uncommon for a student to experience at least one loss caused by theft, fire or water damage during their time away at school.
Insurance for personal property can be handled in a couple of different ways depending on your students living situation. Many homeowner policies automatically extend coverage to students living away in dorm rooms. Check with your insurance advisor to see what coverage is provided by your own policy. Consider scheduling certain higher valued items such as sports equipment, musical instruments or jewellery as this often provides broader coverage and usually a lower deductible. If the student is renting a room in a private home or apartment they may need a tenant’s insurance policy which provides both property and liability coverage.
As with your own insurance, it’s always important to have a personal property inventory so that it can be referred to in the event of a loss. The onus is always on the insured to prove their loss to the insurance company. Photos and videos are easy ways to achieve this and should be kept in a safe and separate location.
If a student is bringing a car to school you need to consider how to handle this and make sure you discuss this with your insurance advisor to determine your options. To help minimize your potential liability exposure you could transfer the ownership into their name and have them insure the car separately. The downside of this is that they may lose discounts that were available on your own policy.
Keep in mind that if your child loans the car to a friend, he or she is also loaning the car’s insurance. If that friend has an “at fault” accident it will affect either your or your child’s insurance.
It is also important to keep a student covered on the car policy even if they are not bringing a car to school. There are a number of situations where they may need to make a claim back on your policy if they happen to become injured in a car accident by another car, are hit by a car while walking or bicycling, or find themselves driving an uninsured car. Often insurance companies will offer a discount for students that are away at school. You should talk with your insurance advisor about the best options for your situation.