How to keep your child covered at university

By Nthabiseng Moloi Time of article published Feb 17, 2020

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It is important to take insurance into account when your child goes to university. Given the increasingly high costs of living, tuition and housing, simply replacing expensive items such as laptops, cars and bicycles isn’t a luxury many parents can afford.

Here are a few insurance basics you might want to consider:

1. Buying a car. While some universities offer public transport facilities and relatively easy access to campus, in all likelihood your child is going to need some form of transportation to travel to and from classes. If you are looking to give your child greater mobility, you will want to take into account factors such as cost and security, but an important factor that many parents overlook is a car’s insurability.

Given the lack of secure parking at many campuses, you would be advised to invest in a car complete with security features such as central locking and consider additional devices such as location trackers and wheel locks to mitigate the likelihood of theft.

2. Car insurance. It is important that you choose the appropriate type of cover. First, you will need to decide whether the car should be insured in your child’s name or add it to your policy. The latter is often the wiser choice, given that consolidating your insurance under one policy tends to result in a lower overall monthly premium.

If you decide to insure the vehicle, remember to list the student as the car’s regular driver, as failure to do this could result in any claims lodged as a result of an accident being rejected.

It is also vital that you honestly communicate all relevant details, such as where the car will be parked and the level of security features present. In so doing, you will better enable your insurer to provide you with comprehensive cover, resulting in a greater likelihood of having a valid claim in the event of an accident or theft.

3. Home contents insurance. Between laptops, iPads, text books and sporting equipment, many students arrive for their opening semester loaded with valuables, which can be extremely expensive to replace. And given the fact that an average of 605 homes are burgled daily in South Africa, you would be advised to keep these items comprehensively covered.

In order to do so effectively, it is important that your insurer clearly understands your child’s risk profile, which takes into account numerous factors, such as whether they are sharing a home, whether they are parking outside and how and when their valuables are typically used.

If their valuables have already been insured under an existing policy, it is worth double checking whether the cover extends to other locations, or whether you will need a separate policy to cover their relocation.

4. All risks insurance. While home contents insurance makes provision for damage and theft within the confines of the home, it does not extend beyond the property walls. Given the likelihood that most valuables will be regularly transported between locations, all risks insurance offers an additional level of cover for unforeseen events that might take place on the go.

Nthabiseng Moloi is MiWay’s head of marketing and brand.


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