Back-to-school Season Brings Insurance Implications

Friday, August 30, 2013

Alberta student back to schoolIt may seem like the summer season has only just arrived, but students will be headed off to college in a matter of days. And while some people are returning to their campuses, others are fresh out of high school, and will be new to the college experience.

But behind every college-aged student are concerned parents. For the first time in their son or daughter's life, they will be living away from home. Even though most of Alberta's universities provide on-campus housing, many will opt to live in off-campus locations nearby.

In order to provide a sense of comfort and confidence to themselves as well as their son or daughter, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that one of the best moves families can make is securing an Alberta tenant insurance policy.

Bill Adams, vice president of the Western and Pacific division of IBC, notes that these plans are ideal and help families avoid headaches should they arise over the course of the coming semesters.

"With all the stress that comes with having your child move away for school, the last thing you want to worry about is a financially stressful situation that could have been avoided," said Adams. "Tenant insurance can protect your child and provide peace of mind to make this transition to school a smooth one."

Though many students may be a short ride away from their parents' homes, they'll want to have the belongings that they use regularly close by, such as electronics, computers, stereo equipment and furniture. While tenant insurance in Alberta covers these pieces of property, they may also be provided for under your house insurance policy, up to a certain limit. In short, if high-priced belongings are stolen or damaged, parents and students will be able to replace it.

Valuables aren't covered by landlord's policy

IBC offers several additional tips parents should be aware of regarding insurance coverage for relocating college students.

For example, some people will often confuse the coverage their landlord has as insurance for them as well. In reality, the insurance protection that a landlord has is typically only for the structure of the residence. Should there be a fire and tenants don't have the proper coverage, a landlord's policy will not compensate occupants for their losses.

Something else to be mindful of is liability. For example, due to the frenzied nature of college life, students may occasionally forget to do something that can cause serious damages, such as leaving an iron on, not turning off the oven or leaving bath water running. Any of these incidents can lead to destruction of the property, which the occupant will need to pay for if they don't have the proper protection. Tenant insurance covers these accidents.

Over the course of a semester, students may buy several additional items, whether for pleasure or for school purposes. Parents are encouraged to remind their son or daughter to keep a running list of their belongings. By doing an inventory - listing how much the items cost, where they were purchased and taking a picture - the claims process will be that much simpler to complete, IBC explains.

According to the Government of Alberta, the province's high school seniors have maintained a stellar graduation rate over the years, with completion rates averaging more than 75 percent since 2006. With many students going on to college after high school, there's plenty of universities and colleges to choose from, including Robertson College, Reeves College, University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge, among several others.