So, your child is going away to school. They will soon be exploring the world on their own, not to mention learning all the new responsibilities that come with moving away from home. But before their departure into the "real world", it may be helpful to pass on some valuable knowledge when it comes to living on their own. Things like student rental house insurance (or insurance for an apartment or dormitory, depending on where they decide to live). There are different options to make sure your child is covered. The first option is rental insurance, also known as tenant insurance.
What is tenant (rental) insurance and as a student, should my child have it?
When living away from home as a student, your child's landlord may have his or her own insurance policy to cover pipes, appliances, and the physical structure of the home or building. But that insurance policy will not cover your child's personal belongings, such as their furniture, clothing, and electronics (smartphone, laptop, and tablet). Or let's say your child needed to move out temporarily because of a covered loss. Tenant's insurance could pay for additional costs incurred until they were able to move back into their dwelling or find another place to live.
In addition to other coverages, tenant's insurance includes liability coverage, which could protect your child from liability if guests injure themselves. For example, if your child threw a party and someone slipped and fell in the apartment, they could be held financially responsible for the cost of medical expenses. In the event of a lawsuit, it could help them cover the cost of any such damages. It could also protect them if they caused unintentional damage to the building or to the belongings of other tenants.
At TD Insurance, we offer a special insurance product that is geared towards full-time students specifically. It’s a great option for student rental house insurance. It’s their own coverage and may help foster a sense of independence and new financial responsibility once they leave home.
How do you access this special student tenant insurance product? Your child can call in and speak to an advisor for more information and to answer any questions they may have.
Is my child covered under my policy with TD Insurance as a student living away from home?
This is your other option. If you currently have a home insurance policy with TD Insurance, your policy could extend similar coverage to them while they’re a student, temporarily living away from home, as long as they remain a dependent of yours. This includes coverage for their personal belongings and liability.
Available limits for belongings depend on the type of policy and coverage you have, so make sure you take the time to understand the coverage in your current home insurance policy. Here are some things to consider:
If your child moves away permanently and is financially independent, then they will need to set up their own insurance policy.
Only your child is covered by your policy. If multiple roommates are sharing one property along with them, make sure each roommate has their own insurance coverage and that everyone is named on the lease.
Make sure your child keeps a list of belongings and an estimated value of expensive items to ensure you have enough coverage in the event of a claim.
Have your child keep records, like photos, videos or receipts in a secure location, pertaining to particularly important or valuable possessions. It’s a good idea to ask them to send you a copy too, for your records.
Aside from student rental house insurance, there are a few more things worth thinking about when your child is moving out for school. Here are a few more questions you may have.
As a student, once they sign a lease, what are they responsible for?
A lease agreement is a binding contract that is made between a landlord and tenant (your child). The lease will have all the terms and conditions related to the dwelling, the landlord and tenant's responsibilities and their respective rights too. Your child should be sure to understand the terms of the lease agreement and should ask their landlord any questions prior to signing. Once they sign, they become legally responsible for any damage they cause to the building. They may also be held responsible for any injuries that occur to visitors or other residents while in their unit.
What's included in the rent?
Make sure they ask simple questions such as "what's included in the rent?" Utilities, such as hydro and water, are not always included. It is also beneficial to know if amenities are included, such as a washer, dryer, microwave, AC, pool, etc.
Is a deposit required?
The deposit is a sum of money that the landlord will collect ahead of time and keep throughout the lease agreement to cover any damages that might happen to the apartment while your child is renting it. If they take care of the property and abide by the lease, they should receive some, or all of it back when the lease agreement ends. Make sure they ask up front if the landlord requires one.
Should there be a co-tenancy agreement?
If your child is a student and sharing a unit with roommates, it may be beneficial to have a co-tenancy agreement. A co-tenancy agreement spells out responsibilities and liabilities for each person sharing the unit. This can include the payment of utilities, repairs, rent payments, and other expenses. It sets the expectations ahead of time and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Does my child understand the Landlord/Tenant Act for their province?
Have them read up on the landlord/tenant act for their province so they know what their rights and obligations are.
Is your child covered under your policy when they move away to school? You can review your policy documents and coverage online with MyInsurance to find out. If you’re interested in our student tenant insurance product for full time students, you can get a quote by contacting an advisor today.
The content on this page is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Coverages described herein may be subject to additional eligibility criteria, limitations and exclusions. In the event you make a claim, potential indemnification is also subject to the receivability of the claim and the type of coverage you bought.
In the case of conflict between the content on this page and your policy wordings, your policy wordings shall take precedence. Please speak to an Advisor or consult your policy wordings for further details.