HRC Insurance Blog

"I'm a Student - Do I Need Insurance?"

Heading to University or College can be very intimidating. Every year, thousands of students across Canada move away to live on their own for the very first time. From making new friends to achieving good grades, students have a lot to think about when heading away for school. The last thing on their mind is often their insurance needs! However, it’s important for students to understand that they too need certain types of insurance to cover them while they are away from home.


Types of Coverage:

1. Property

2. Automotive

3. Travel


Property Insurance:

If you are moving into on-campus residence, it is important to first confirm the school’s insurance policy. Most schools will not cover anything beyond public domain. This means that if anything happens within the premises of the student’s room (flood, fire, etc.) the school will only cover the charges to repair the room and any personal belongings will not be covered. The student, in some cases, may also become liable for damages to contents of the room or the room itself. If the student is sharing a living space with other students, the risk becomes even larger. Each tenant should have an individual insurance policy to ensure the best coverage.

Before purchasing a new policy, parents should contact their insurance broker to review their existing home insurance policy coverage. Most home policies typically include coverage of $2500 or more for dependents while they are living away from home, attending a post-secondary institution. Again, not all policies cover this, but often times it is easier and less expensive to extend your home insurance in the event that it’s not currently covered instead of creating a whole new policy.

A third option for students is obtaining tenant insurance, which is the best and most common choice when living off campus in a rented private home or apartment, either alone or with friends. Tenant insurance, also known as ‘renters’ insurance’ or ‘apartment insurance’, covers the contents of the policyholder’s rental unit as well as personal liability for accidents that happen on their rented property. When students move into shared housing, often their main area of concern is, “I’m worried about theft or damage done to my belongings.” Tenant insurance exists to protect you in this case. For example, if a student has tools necessary for his program (laptop, textbooks, etc.) and a fire destroys them, he would have coverage on all of his lost property. Tenant insurance also covers personal injury. An example of this could include a person injuring themselves at a party hosted at the student’s home. If they decide to take legal action, the student would have liability coverage to protect them. Again, it is important that each student living in the home or apartment has their own individual insurance policy to protect themselves and their respective belongings.


Automotive Insurance:


Student wishes to take vehicle to school

When considering taking a car away to school with you, there are a few things to check over with your insurance company. First of all, it’s a good idea to start at the insurance brokerage that your parents are insured with. Your vehicle will need to be rated in the area in which you are primarily driving. ! (Fun Fact: Some brokers actually offer a discount on your insurance premium for maintaining good grades at school. Not only will mom and dad be happy about your grades, they’ll be happy about your insurance prices too!) Overall, always be mindful in keeping insurance costs low, it is always important to practice safe driving and keep a clean record.

Student does not wish to take vehicle to school

If you decide that you are not going to bring a vehicle to school but are currently considered a part-time driver on your parents’ vehicle, your parents should speak to their insurance brokerage to have their policy amended. It’s a good idea for them to keep you on their insurance as an ‘occasional driver’, as any gap in insurance (a time period where a driver is uninsured) can cause higher rates down the road when the student is looking for insurance once again. Many insurers offer a discount on your parents policy when you are attending school more than 100 km’s away from home.


 Travel Insurance:

Do you happen to be an international student studying in Canada? Are you a Canadian student travelling out of province or out of Canada to study? If you are, the first thing you need to consider is your health insurance policy. Your current health plan may not cover all of or ANY OF your medical expenses while away at school. Basic medical needs and procedures can add up quickly, while emergency needs and procedures can cost thousands if you do not have the proper coverage. That said, most schools will require you to make health plan arrangements prior to starting school and offer discounted plans and options during the enrollment process. However, it’s always a good idea to check in with your insurance broker to ensure that you have the right type of insurance to cover you and your needs.


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Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.