College student exiting school through a set of glass doors.

Back-to-School: Tenant Insurance for Post-Secondary StudentsAugust 22, 2022

As college students head off to school the to-do list with getting students back to classes and settled in is long. One thing that might be missing from your list of tasks is purchasing tenant insurance for your student.

Tenant insurance, also known as renter’s insurance, is an extra expense, but the college experience does not come without risks and liabilities. Students may experience property damage while away at school or some of their property may be stolen. Tenant insurance is designed to cover these types of unexpected losses.

Tenant Insurance Is Back of Mind in Canada

Cost is always a primary factor for many when purchasing any type of insurance. Economic concerns have Canadian residents reviewing their budgets carefully and trying to cut costs wherever they can. To some, tenant insurance is more of a luxury than a necessity.

According to a TD Tenant Insurance survey, 4 in 10 Canadian renters do not have a tenant insurance policy. The survey shows that 43% of tenants worry most about protecting electronics such as cell phones, televisions, cameras, and computers. This stands to reason since many rely more heavily on electronics to stay in touch with family members and friends, especially since the pandemic.

Over half of the renters who responded said they would have trouble replacing their belongings if they got damaged or stolen and they did not have a tenant insurance policy.

College students typically own a lot of electronic devices. Moreover, money is often tight for college students and their parents. Tenant insurance would bring a sigh of relief if a claim became necessary. The cost of a tenant insurance policy is minimal compared to what it would cost renters to replace their computers, phones, and other electronic items.

Do Post-Secondary Students in Canada Need Tenant Insurance?

Whether post-secondary students in Canada need tenant insurance depends on whether they live at home or away at school. Other factors include the value of the personal property they take with them and how much the students or parents can afford to pay in the event of a loss.

College students who live at home are covered under their parent’s home insurance policies. Students who live in college dorms or off-campus apartments may have some amount of coverage for their personal belongings, as well as liability coverage if their parents have a home insurance policy in force.

Students whose parents do not have a home insurance policy should definitely have a tenant insurance policy. Where parents have an in-force home insurance policy, it may only cover a small percentage of the total personal property limit for property away from the home’s premises. The applicable limit may not be sufficient to cover a student’s property, clothing, and electronics.

What kind of things could happen on a college campus that could trigger a tenant insurance claim? Students would be held liable if they damaged school property or another student’s property. They could also be held liable if they hurt someone. A student’s personal property could be damaged by fire, water, or theft.

When considering a student’s property, take an inventory of everything they bring to school – electronics, software, special tools or supplies for classes, name-brand clothing, jewelry, and more.

While parents of college students may be able to file a claim against their home insurance policy for a college student, they would have to pay the deductible first and it would count as a claim against the home insurance policy.

Overall, tenant insurance for college students is not mandatory, but it is good to have if students are in a dorm or off-campus apartment.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover for Students?

A quick review of tenant insurance coverages will clarify why parents should be interested in purchasing a tenant insurance policy for college students moving away.

Personal property – Covers all personal property college students take with them for the perils covered under the policy.

Personal liability – Protects against unintentional acts of property damage or injuries for which the student is legally liable.

Additional living expenses – Helps pay for additional living costs that are necessary and reasonable if the student cannot live in their dorm or apartment due to a covered loss (hotel, food, transportation, etc.).

Defense costs – Covers legal defense costs such as court fees and lawyer fees.

Parents should be aware that a tenant insurance policy only covers the student’s property and not the property of any roommates.

Depending on the policy, personal property may be covered for actual cash value or replacement cost. Replacement cost means older items will get replaced with new items of similar kind and quality without consideration for depreciation.

As with all insurance policies, read the policy carefully to understand any limits or policy exclusions in tenant insurance policies.

How Much Does a Tenant Insurance for Post-Secondary Students in Canada Cost?

The cost of a tenant insurance policy for a college student depends upon many factors. Tenant insurance companies will consider the location, the amount of insurance, the claims experience history, and the choice of deductible, along with a few other factors.

Policy holders can choose the amount of coverage for personal property and the limit of liability. They also have a choice of insuring for certain named perils or getting all-risk coverage. All-risk insurance coverage refers to all risks except those excluded from the policy.

It pays to get quotes on tenant insurance policies as the rates vary between companies.

Final Thoughts

Parents of college students have many worries as their young adults move away to school. A tenant insurance policy takes one worry off their plates. Tenant insurance is highly affordable and prevents parents from having regrets if a claim is at issue once students are at school.

To get quotes on tenant insurance for a student living away at school, contact one of our licensed insurance professionals at Duliban Insurance at 1-855-DULIBAN.

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