The pens, pencils and books – and Kraft dinner – have all been packed for the student leaving home for college or university. But do these birds leaving the nest have the right property insurance? And have you actively sold it to their parents?
With all the stress that comes from having children go off to university, clients don't want to compound that with completely avoidable financial challenges, says Bill Adams, vice president of Western and Pacific of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Tenant insurance can and should be offered to protect clients and provide piece of mind as their children make that transition.
Adams says that the sons and daughters headed for college or university will likely bring expensive personal items such as electronics, computers, stereo equipment and furniture with them to their new home – and as young adults will be on the hook for any damage that may occur at their home away from home.
“They may be liable for any damage to the dwelling they are living in while away at school,” he says. “Some home insurance policies provide coverage for personal property while away at school up to a certain limit.” (continued).
Adams suggests contacting clients who have children of age for post-secondary education now, offering them a tenant’s policy that includes basic liability coverage and contents coverage.
They could be held responsible if their actions – like leaving the bathtub running – caused damage to the apartment, the neighbours' apartment or the apartment building itself, he says. They can also be held responsible for personal liability, if someone is injured in in the home - even if it is one that being rented.”
Landlords have relatively few legal obligations to compensate tenants for damage to, or loss of, their personal possessions, whereas tenants are responsible for the harm they may cause to any part of the building in which they live or to others who live or visit there.
And in the event of a theft or damage, brokers should advise their clients to make a list and check it twice.
“Tell clients to keep an up-to-date list of their belongings in case of theft, loss or damage,” he suggests. “This will make it easier to settle your insurance claim in the event of theft, fire or other risks.”
All college and university residences have their own requirements and recommendations for students living on campus, check with your school before you move in.