By: Nthabiseng Moloi, MiWay Head of Marketing & Brand
Sending your child off to university can be an extremely challenging experience. Not only do you need to source appropriate housing, ensure their safety and allow room in your budget for unforeseen expenses, but you will also need to deal with all the ensuing stress that comes as a result of any relocation.
While your basic to-do list might already be lengthy, it is also important to remember the importance of insurance for your university-bound child. After all, given the ever-increasing costs of tuition, housing and basic goods, many parents simply do not have the luxury of being able to replace vehicles, laptops and other expensive essentials should their children fall victim to accidents or theft.
As such, it is vital that you have the right cover in place before your child sets off for their first semester of 2019. Here are a few essential things you might want to consider:
Buying a car
Before establishing which types of insurance you are likely to need, it is important to decide whether or not your child’s location requires a vehicle. While some universities offer public transport facilities and easy passage between campuses, others require a little more in the way of a commute. It might be worth equipping your child with a car to afford them greater mobility.
When considering which car to buy, you will want to take into account the more obvious factors like cost, security and re-sale value, but it is also vital that you factor in the insurability of the vehicle you are purchasing. Given the fact that secure parking is at a minimum at most campuses, it is important that you invest in a vehicle with ample security features such as central locking. Should you be unable to afford this type of car, or intend to provide them with a vehicle you already own, you will want to invest in a gear or wheel lock to prevent the likelihood of theft.
Once you have established what type of vehicle your child will be driving, it is time to pick the appropriate type of cover for said car. Firstly, you will need to decide whether the car should be insured in their name, or whether to add it to your existing policy. The latter is often the savvier choice, given that consolidating your insurance under one policy tends to be significantly cheaper.
No matter how you decide to insure the vehicle, it is vital that you list the student as the car’s regular driver, if they are indeed the regular driver. Should you fail to do this, any claims filed as a result of an accident with them behind the wheel are likely to be rejected.
Additionally, doing so helps to build the personal risk profile of the student, thus enabling them to be better equipped to take out their own private insurance at a later stage.
Home Contents Insurance
Between laptops, iPads, text books and sporting equipment, many students arrive for their opening semester loaded with valuables, many of which would be extremely expensive to replace. Given the fact that many of these items are regularly transported between classes, it is important that you double down on the fine print of their home contents insurance.
It is important that you clarify your varsity-going child’s risk profile to your insurer. This will depend on numerous factors, including whether your child is staying at home or in a shared digs, whether or not they have secure parking and how they intend to use their valuables.
If you have already specified their valuables under an existing policy, you will need to check whether this covers them being housed elsewhere, or whether you will need to take out a separate policy in light of their relocation.
Additionally, it is important to consider the importance of All Risks Insurance, given the likelihood that valuables like laptops and sporting equipment are unlikely to remain within a single property throughout your child’s varsity stint. This type of insurance – unlike Home Contents Insurance – makes provision for mobility, ensuring cover for portable valuables that are likelier to be stolen.
University can be a costly undertaking as is, so in order to prevent any unnecessary additional expenses, it is vital that you chat to your insurance company in advance in order to get the best advice ahead of the big move.
MiWay is a licensed Short-term Insurer and Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970).
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