News & Resources

Going Back to School? Here’s What You Should Know About Insurance

Sept. 13, 2021
4 mins
A young woman sits in a cafe with her laptop and a coffee

Now that we are in September, parents are switching gears from the summer holidays into back-to-school mode. Backpack; check, laptop; check, utensils and essentials; check — the preparation can be hectic.

Even the most organized people can overlook a few things. Don’t let calling your insurance provider be one of them. If your child is leaving for post-secondary school, make sure to give your home and auto insurance provider a call before they go.

Auto insurance discounts for students

Many auto insurance providers offer three discounts for young drivers and students that could lead to a lower auto insurance rate.

  1. Driver’s Training Discount: If your child has taken and successfully passed a government-recognized driver’s training course, you could save hundreds of dollars in premiums for up to three years.
  2. Student Away from Home Discount: If your college or university-bound student lives away from home, they’ll have less time behind the wheel. Many auto insurance providers offer a discount that could save you up to 50% of the premium you’re paying for listing your child on your policy, and they’ll still be covered for the occasional trip home or during the holidays.
  3. Good Student Discount: Hard work can pay off. Some companies offer a Good Student Discount, typically up to 5%, if your college or university student has good grades.
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Is your child taking the car to school? 

If your child takes one of your vehicles away to school to get around town (and hopefully come home for visits), you should call and update your auto insurance policy.

Multi-vehicle discounts

You may get a multi-vehicle discount if the car is in your name and listed on your existing auto insurance policy. This discount is typically between 10% and 25% of your annual premium.

Primary driver

Discounts aside, if your child takes the car away to school full-time, they will be the person driving the vehicle the most. Therefore, you will need to list them as the primary driver on the policy to ensure they get the coverage they need, which can end up costing more.

Also, let the insurance provider know if your child will take the vehicle to attend school out-of-province. Each province and territory will have its own insurance rules, and you may require more coverage.

Home insurance or tenant insurance for students

Whether your child takes the car or leaves it at home, they will have many other belongings to insure. From costly computers to textbooks and keepsakes, your items can be pricey to replace.

Related read: Tenant Insurance: It’s Not Just About Protecting Your Stuff

Schools are unlikely to cover lost, stolen or damaged items. Fortunately, most home insurance policies extend coverage to children attending college or university, up to a specific limit. Check with your insurance provider to understand any limitations. For example, items may not qualify for coverage if your child studies abroad or if the value exceeds the claim limit.

If living off-campus, landlords may require students to get tenant insurance, also known as renter’s insurance, to protect their possessions and from liability.

Tenant insurance has three main components:

  1. Contents Coverage: If someone were to break in and steal your possessions or they were to get damaged by flood or fire, contents insurance would cover the cost of replacing the items up to a limit. This coverage extends beyond your home too. If your bike were stolen outside the library, tenant insurance would help with the replacement cost.
  2. Personal Liability Coverage: If someone were to injure themselves at your student housing accidentally, say by slipping and falling, liability coverage would help cover the costs associated with lawsuits.
  3. Reimbursement for Living Expenses: If your house were affected by fire or another insured peril and became temporarily uninhabitable, this aspect of tenant insurance would help provide temporary accommodation and transportation.

For students sharing a space with roommates, it can be more challenging. All residents should have their names on the lease and their own insurance coverage. Suppose someone was accidentally injured; you would not want one person to be held liable.

Compare insurance rates 

Include home and auto insurance in your back-to-school shopping. Compare insurance quotes today to find the best price for the types of coverage you need.

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

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