Living away from home for the first time ever? Congratulations. This is the first big step in the direction of independence, and it can be as exciting as it is overwhelming. If you have moved away from home to pursue a higher education, there are some things you will need to deal with to make the transition as seamless as possible. Insurance may not be at the top of your list, but it is important to think about.
Renting an apartment
If you have decided to move out of your parent’s home and rent an apartment, you’ll need to cover your belongings and your personal liability with renter’s insurance. This will cover your belongings, computers, other electronics, furniture, clothing, and more. You may not think the purchase of renter’s insurance is worth it, but if you were to add together the total value of all your belongings you may be surprised as to what it would take to replace everything you own as it stands today. In addition to protecting your personal belongings, renter’s insurance also offers liability insurance, if you were liable for accident bodily injury or physical property damage to others.
But what about your parent’s insurance? Doesn’t it cover you? The answer: sometimes. Your parent’s insurance may already cover you if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You are a dependent of your parents and an enrolled student
- You are registered at an education institute that is recognized by your insurance provider
- You are a full-time student
- You chose to move away temporarily to finish your education
You may want to consult with your parent’s insurance company to ensure you are eligible and that their coverage is enough to include both you and your belongings.
Buying renter’s insurance
If you do not have enough coverage under your parent’s home insurance or if you have elected to make your move a permanent transition, you will need to purchase your own insurance. In this case, renter’s insurance is a small price per month and provides additional liability coverage so that you are protected if you cause any damages or injury by accident. Your personal property is also included in your coverage, ranging from items like your computer to your furniture to your clothing.
You may also have coverage against theft, vandalism, and fire, and you can purchase additional coverage for water damage. With renter’s insurance, you can focus on your studies and enjoying the experience while avoiding any unexpected losses.
What if I have roommates?
If you are living with your partner or have a roommate, you may want to call up your insurance company to discuss options. You may be able to add this person to your insurance so that they can have coverage as well. Of course, any claims they make will impact your insurance as well.
If you do buy renter’s insurance…
If you are looking to purchase renter’s insurance because you are moving out permanently or your parent’s insurance doesn’t cover you, there are a few things to remember. One is that your renter’s insurance is intended to cover any and all gaps that are left by the master policy. The master policy is your landlord’s insurance, which (depending on the policy) generally will cover all the common areas, the physical building, and their liability. Some policies will include coverage for original furniture in your apartment and systems, plumbing, etc., but some won’t cover anything from the walls-in. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with what the master policy excludes so that you can arrange your renter’s insurance policy accordingly, so nothing is left out.
Many landlords or residence associations will require renter’s insurance in their lease. Many buildings or landlords will clearly outline in their agreement that they are not liable for the destruction, loss, or theft of anything you own.
If you have coverage under your parent’s insurance….
If you do have coverage under your parent’s insurance, it is important for parents to note that by extending their policy to cover you as a student, your claims will impact their insurance. If they benefit from a no-claims discount and you have to make a claim, this discount will no longer apply.
It could be an expensive endeavour for your parents, especially if there are injuries from parties, property damage, lost computers, and more. The risk levels rise the more students there are coinhabiting a single dwelling, which is where insurance companies tend to hesitate.
The bottom line
An insurance broker may be able to help review your situation with you and give you insight as to whether or not your parent’s insurance can cover you. If it can, great! Just know that any claims you submit will impact your parents and that it may impact how much they will pay in premiums.
Living as a student doesn’t come without its risks. Your likelihood of experience theft or damages is much higher as a young student having just moved out who may or may not be seeing a lot of visitors and having parties. If you are moving out permanently, renter’s insurance is a must. Just be sure that your policy covers anything and everything that your master policy does not. For this, you can work with an insurance broker to be sure that no gaps are left out.
Congratulations on this new milestone! It may be a bittersweet moment for your parents, but it’s the first step in becoming more capable and responsible. With the insurance out of the way, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have the coverage you require and can focus on your studies – or whatever else you end up doing while away from home.