Having a child leave the nest to further their education is exciting for young adults. But, for parents, it’s bittersweet, and your pride comes with a healthy dose of concern. Ensuring their stuff is protected with tenant and car insurance is an essential aspect of “adulting,” especially when your child is leaving home for the first time. Learn about how you can help your kids with your tenant and auto insurance policy to make the transition from the nest to university easier for your family.

Does my Child Need Insurance for their Belongings?

Your kid is likely bringing valuable stuff with them to college or university. In addition to a vehicle (we’ll discuss auto insurance below), often the most expensive items students own are electronics, including phones, laptops, tablets, and gaming systems.

No matter how responsible your child is, living either off-campus with roommates or in student housing means their belongings will likely be around more people than at home. Friends, roommates’ friends, other students and partygoers pose potential risks to your child’s belongings.

Traditional landlords won’t take responsibility for your child’s stuff. In addition, most universities and colleges state that they are not liable for property theft in residence agreements. Therefore, it’s wise to insure these items so that replacing a stolen laptop or broken TV wouldn’t be a financial burden during the semester. This is one of the many reasons why tenant and auto insurance are absolutely necessary.

Can My Child Purchase Renter’s Insurance With Roommates?

Renter’s insurance policies covering two renters are best for people who have lived together for a long time on good terms. In contrast to common-law and married couples, students often have multiple short-term roommates with varying degrees of familiarity. So, every roommate should purchase a separate renters insurance policy or secure coverage as part of their parent’s home insurance.

What Coverage Can my Homeowner’s Policy Offer?

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may be able to cover your child’s belongings while they are away at school. However, you need to let your insurer know about your kid’s new living situation to confirm whether their belongings have coverage. Not informing your insurance company could result in unexpected claim denial.

Some insurers have a set amount in homeowner’s policies to cover both contents and extend liability coverage. This may be the best option for students as many insurers will not issue a tenant policy if there are multiple unrelated people in a dorm or apartment unit.

Suppose your child needs to make a claim on your policy. In that case, this may affect your policy premiums or make you ineligible for a no-claims discount. The good news is if you’re making a claim—that can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars that you and your child aren’t paying out of pocket.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Liability Insurance

Personal liability insurance protects policyholders from third-party claims and even lawsuits if an accident causes property damage or injury in your child’s living space. For example, liability insurance will pay for repairs and replacing damaged items if a partygoer accidentally floods the bathroom, causing water damage to another unit. Likewise, suppose a visitor trips over a stack of books in your son’s dorm room. Personal liability insurance could pay for legal and medical fees up to the policy limit if the visitor suffers an injury and sues or files a claim on your policy. Lawsuits and medical bills are often expensive, so tenant personal liability coverage typically offers between $500,000 and two million dollars in protection.

You may be able to add liability insurance to your child’s coverage under your home insurance policy. However, insurance providers view off-campus living arrangements with multiple roommates as a higher risk for liability claims. Suppose your insurer doesn’t want to take on the additional risk of covering your child with liability insurance. In that case, we recommend protecting them with a separate policy to avoid the expense of uninsured liability claims against your child.

Is Tenant Insurance for Students Optional?

Most universities require proof of tenant insurance from students living on campus. It is also common for renters to university students to require proof of insurance. Similarly, auto insurance is mandatory whether your child drives your car or has their own ride. Both tenant and auto insurance are mandatory in most universities.

What about auto insurance for my child living away from home for the first time? 

Most parents opt to keep kids on their car insurance until they have saved up to purchase their own vehicles and policies. A significant factor determining insurance rates is commuting distance and your child’s access to your car while away at school. While they may not be in need of tenant insurance at this time, auto insurance is absolutely necessary.

Benefits of Keeping Your Child on Your Auto Insurance Policy

Even if your child isn’t planning to drive one of your vehicles at school, keeping them on your auto insurance policy can add extra protection.

  • If they drive a friend’s vehicle and need to make a claim.
  • If an accident occurs while riding in a friend’s car.

In addition, to accident coverage, keeping your child on your policy will ensure no gap in their insurance coverage. Having a history of continuous auto insurance coverage can make purchasing coverage more affordable for your child in the future.

When Would I Need to Remove My Child From My Auto Policy?

When you are helping your child with finances while attending school, the most affordable option is to keep them on your policy. There is no official age at which you must remove children from your policy. However, a child will need separate insurance once they purchase a vehicle solely registered in their name. For example, suppose you transfer ownership of one of your cars to a child. In that case, they will also need to purchase separate insurance coverage.

Discounts for Students Living Away from Home

Classifying your child as an occasional driver can help you save money on your policy without removing the benefits of keeping them insured. For example, suppose your child won’t be driving while living on campus. Then, an insurer may offer discounts if your kid lives at least 100km away and doesn’t have a vehicle with them. Discounts can be as high as 60% off the occasional driver premium if they are over 100km away since if your child is rarely at home, they will have limited access to the vehicle.

How Else Can I Save Money with My kid on My Auto Insurance?

It’s no secret that young and relatively new drivers tend to be more expensive to insure than drivers with years of safe driving experience. Unfortunately, insurance companies make these pricing decisions based on evidence that drivers between 16 and 24 years old are significantly more likely to get into an accident than drivers older than 24.

Fortunately, until they move towards their mid to late twenties, additional ways of proving your child is responsible can lower your shared auto insurance premiums.

  • Ask your insurer if your child’s high school or post-secondary grades qualify for a good student insurance discount. In addition, once your child graduates, some insurers will offer alumni discounts.
  • Insuring a child with a full G licence is less expensive than insuring a G2 driver. If your child has maintained a good driving record, rates can decrease by up to 10% when they pass their G driving test.
  • In addition to helping your child obtain their full G license faster, accredited driver training courses can also help you get an insurance discount. In some cases, completing this type of driver training can save you 20 to 30% of the cost of adding your child to your policy, which is equal to about three years of driving experience.

In addition to who is driving and how often, the vehicle/s insured under your policy can impact your premium. Everyone can benefit from driving a safe, reliable vehicle. Parents often want to help young drivers pick affordable cars with quality safety features. Check out these top used cars for students featuring budget-friendly recent models with high safety ratings and reliability.

Please speak with your insurance company or broker for advice on your child’s changing driving habits and insurance needs before leaving for school. Suppose you decide to keep your child on your policy. In that case, you need to give your insurance company their school address, even if your home address is still their primary residence. Your insurer can help evaluate your family’s unique needs and recommend solutions to help everyone stay protected with the most affordable rates.

While you can’t be with your kid for every class or ride to and from campus, you can help them stay covered for unexpected bumps in the road. Tenant and auto insurance help make adult responsibilities easier for young people and parents who help make their child’s dreams possible.

Bundle and save today with home and car insurance coverage in Ontario, and get started with an online quote or call aha insurance at 1 (855) 242-6822.

1) Hudson’s Bay Rewards points offers may change without notice. All Rewards points will be awarded within four to six weeks. When you pay your monthly premiums, you will earn 1,000 Rewards points when you enrol for a $200/month benefit; 2,000 Rewards points for a $250/month benefit; 4,000 Rewards points for a $500 benefit; 6,000 Rewards points for a $750/month benefit and 8,000 Rewards points for a $1,000/month benefit. Earn up to 8,000 Rewards points on the anniversary date of your policy. Rewards points will not be prorated if you cancel before the anniversary date.