Laptop? Check. Cell phone? Check. Xbox? Check. Insurance coverage?
August 30, 2010
During the coming weeks, thousands of B.C. students will be heading off to university and college, loaded down with books, clothes, and in many cases a treasure chest of electronics. BCAA Insurance reminds parents at this time of year to review their home insurance policies to ensure their children’s belongings are adequately covered for loss or damage while they’re away from home.
A recent poll from the National Retail Federation (NRF) indicates back-to-school purchases have increased 10.5 per cent over the past year. “Students have more to insure than ever before,” says Brooke Moss, BCAA Home Insurance Product Manager. “They have a lot of expensive and portable consumer goods that are vulnerable to loss, theft or damage.”
The list of pricey electronic equipment includes desktop computers, laptops, MP3 players, portable TVs, mobile phones, stereos, video game equipment and digital cameras. Other items to consider are bicycles, boarding and ski equipment, and jewellery.
The NRF poll also reveals the number of students choosing to leave the family home to live on or close to their university campus has increased compared to last year. “Moving away from home also means students will need their own household items such as a microwave, bedding and furniture, which are also vulnerable to damage,” adds Moss. “Electronic or not, the loss of belongings could put a big dent in the finances of a student with a limited budget or of a parent paying for a child’s tuition, books and living expenses.”
While most home insurance policies extend some coverage to students living away from home, Moss cautions parents and students to be aware of any limits on student property as well as limits on individual items.
“Take stock of all your child’s items,” urges Moss. “Then talk to your insurance advisor to find out what’s covered and what’s not under your existing policy. If the value of the belongings exceeds the limits, you should consider buying additional coverage.”
BCAA also encourages students no longer dependant on their parents to consider purchasing their own insurance policy so they’re protected not only against the loss of personal effects, but also against liability.
“Many parents and students are unaware that they could be held legally liable for accidents that happen in a student’s rental apartment or dorm room,” Moss explains. “Landlords may not be responsible for injury caused due to unsafe conditions in the student’s own living area.”