Back to school: everything you need to know

As summer’s balmy warm gives way to the crisp bite of autumn, many of us are returning to our usual routines. For our kids, that means back to school. Some will move out, while others will trek long distances to campus.

But whether they’re heading just around the block or across the country, there’s nothing we want more than our youngest and most vulnerable to be protected. At TSG, we care about your family’s well-being, so we decided to create a quick guide to getting the right insurance coverage to keep your children safe and sound as they return to school in the coming weeks.

Before waving goodbye, sit down with your insurance broker and provider to determine your child’s risks and exposures. In particular, list high risk activities they may engage in and whether they have the appropriate coverage. If your child is going to be living with roommates, you may wish to check whether they all have the necessary coverage.

Review your own policy details with your broker and consider extending coverage to your youngster. If you go this route, you will have to comply will all relevant legislation. For example, the student has to meet the legal definition of a dependent child (under 22 years of age in Ontario) and qualify for policy conditions.

Once the personal and property coverage are sorted, you will want to look into auto policies.

Get an idea of your child’s driving needs and habits during their studies to tailor their coverage. You may wish to add your child to your policy, but this will leave you on the hook for any accidents or damage your child causes. At renewal time, all of that will increase your premium.

Alternatively, you can arrange for your child to have their own auto policy. This is more expensive, but it will encourage them to take responsibility for their actions and become conscientious guardians of their insurance record.

Students studying abroad may need extra health insurance because provincial plans do not provide coverage outside Canada. Medical treatment can be very expensive in other countries and a dedicated health insurance policy is very good value to protect your child from high medical bills and expenses.

Inside Canada, students are usually covered under their parents’ private health insurance, on top of the provincial plan. Nevertheless, don’t rest on your laurels, and check your policy details to know for certain the extent of your coverage, any exclusions and when it no longer applies.

Your child will likely bring pricey belongings with them, including electronics and possibly jewelry, and you want those items to be insured in case of theft or damage. Because not all standard policies include this coverage, you should look into acquiring a renter’s policy to cover valuables. Don’t forget to take an inventory before leaving.

Finally, if your child will be moving far to attend school, check with your broker whether your insurance provider writes coverage for that area. Make sure to also research the area your child will be living in: see if its prone to flooding, extreme weather events, air and waterborne diseases, or political unrest.

Is your child moving away to attend school? Give us a call and together let’s find a way to keep your loved ones safe.