When children leave school and become full-time students living away from home, there are a number of changes you have to get used to. Now that the year is underway and your child has settled into college or university, it is a good time to consider their short-term insurance cover.

Insuring your child’s vehicle

If your child is still financially dependent on you, you may wonder whose name to insure a new car under – yours or your child’s. A principle called ‘insurable interest’ applies in this situation. It means that the person taking out the policy (also called the insuree) can suffer a financial loss if the item is stolen or damaged. In a short-term insurance policy, the term insuree usually refers to the insuree themselves, their spouse and any family members who are financially dependent on them. This means that your student child’s car will be covered under your policy irrespective of whether the vehicle is registered in your or your child’s name. Naturally, the conditions of the policy apply. The premium you will pay will depend on where the car is usually kept and this must be specified in your policy and kept up to date. Your child must also be registered as the regular driver in the policy.

Insuring electronic equipment

Most young people nowadays have an electronic device of some sort such as a smart phone, laptop or tablet. When insuring these devices while your child takes them to university, it is important to check specifications in your policy and to supply the right information. This includes the manufacturer of the device, the model, serial number, specifications and insured value (the current replacement value for a new device). This cover is then applicable worldwide. If an item is stolen or lost, satisfactory proof of ownership must be presented, whether it be proof of purchase, photos, a user manual or a sworn statement.

What happens if my child’s residence is broken into?

In the event that your child’s hostel room or university residence is broken into, personal belongings and clothes will be covered under the house content or house resident section of a parent’s policy. However, it must be specified in your policy that your child’s address is different to your address. Damage to the building will not be covered, as the structure is the asset of the university and insurable interest does therefore not apply. Institutions can sometimes have agreements and conditions that they put to residents of their hostels which can hold the student liable for certain breakages.

If your child stays in a flat that isn’t part of a university residence, insurance coverage would depend on whether or not you own the property. If you do, your insurance should cover the stucture of the property as well as contents. If the property is being rented, only sufficient contents insurance will be required.

Can I insure my child’s textbooks?

Textbooks form part of normal house content and are insured in the hostel room. If cover is required outside of the room, they will have to be insured under the ‘all risk’ section. The unspecified items’ value must be sufficient, however, to accommodate the limit per item.

If you’re unsure about any of the above, or have additional queries, be sure to consult your insurance adviser or provider.

Article credit: http://insurancegateway.co.za/ShorttermConsumers/PressRoom/ViewPress/Irn=9718&URL=Insuring+your+child+at+university+1#.VOL2_tiS-M8