Why do my kids need tenant insurance when they go away for school?
Everyone knows how important it is to have insurance if you own your house or condominium. Tenant (renters) insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you rent — especially as a student. Tenant insurance provides peace of mind in knowing that your possessions are covered and you are protected if something goes wrong. Students definitely need this level of protection. Let’s look at why it is important.
Coverage for possessions — and more
You may think of tenant insurance as important for the expensive items — like laptops, TVs, and furniture, but it offers much more coverage for the things you do not think about. For example, if there is a fire, tenant insurance can cover everything from the furniture and electronics to pots and pans and dishes to a closet full of clothes.
It may also mean having a place to stay if the dwelling is uninhabitable by covering living expenses while the apartment is being repaired with additional living expenses coverage. That means a hotel stay and meals may be covered. Like all coverage, it comes with limits, but it can still go a long way to provide comfort and peace of mind during a stressful experience.
It is also worth considering, if your child has a vehicle and occasionally keeps their valuables in it, such as a laptop, sporting equipment, or tools necessary for their area of study. If the items are stolen or damaged, an auto policy would not respond to cover the loss of these items, a tenant’s policy would.
Maintaining a tenant’s policy will also be important if your child purchases a house or condo in future. Many insurance companies provide preferred rates if you have a history of property insurance, and if you have not made a claim, you could be eligible for a claims free discount.
Are they covered under my home policy?
Your broker can help you determine if you already have coverage that will protect your child when they leave for school. That coverage works well to provide protection in cases involving personal property theft or damage, but there are other important factors to consider:
- Some residences and student housing require tenant insurance to be in place to ensure there are no surprises for the landlord.
- A standalone plan covers liability, which may be needed if someone visiting the property is injured.
- There is also the liability of damage to the apartment property, which is not covered in your home insurance policy.
In other words, if there is a party and something goes awry — like an accidental fall or damage to the apartment — coverage is in place to protect you and your child.
It is also important to remember that the insurance a landlord or school has in place for a building, does not provide insurance coverage for a tenant’s belongings. If the building is damaged and subsequently the student’s items, the landlord’s insurance will not replace the damaged items.
What about cost?
Cost for tenant insurance is based on the level of coverage you need, the value of the contents as well as the location of the property. Typically, when you bundle a tenant’s policy with an auto policy, the multi-line discount you are eligible for, often makes the tenants insurance a very insignificant amount.
Your AGR Insurance broker can help determine what type and how much insurance your child may need and evaluate if a separate policy is necessary or beneficial. Call 1-800-668-0250 today to review your existing policy or to get a quote.