Empty nest to full dorm room: add insurance to your back to school checklist, reminds BCAA

    BURNABY, BC, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - With many students leaving the family nest
and spreading their wings for university or college in the coming weeks, BCAA
Insurance reminds parents to review their home insurance policies to ensure
their children's belongings - such as computers and other electronic gadgets -
are adequately covered for loss or damage while they're away from home.
    Today's students are toting more than the traditional boom box. They're
taking more expensive items than ever before: laptops, ipods, portable TVs,
cell phones, stereo equipment, digital cameras, bicycles, clothing, sporting
equipment and maybe a car.
    "Students today have a lot of expensive consumer goods that are
vulnerable to theft," explains BCAA Insurance Product Manager, Brooke Hanson.
"Given these facts, protecting personal property while living away from home
is more important than ever - it could be a real blow to a student on a
limited budget or to the bank account of parents paying tuition bills."
    Luckily, most home insurance policies extend some coverage to students
living away from home. Despite this, Hanson cautions parents and students to
be aware of any limits on student property as well as limits on individual
items. "Take an inventory to find out just how much 'stuff' your student has,"
urges Hanson. "Then talk to your insurance advisor to find out what's covered
- and what isn't - under your existing policy. If the value of the belongings
exceeds the limits, you should consider buying additional coverage."
    Students who are no longer dependent on mom and dad should consider
purchasing their own insurance policy to be sure that they are covered for any
loss of contents or liability. Many students are unaware that they are liable
for anything that happens in their rental apartment. If the landlord doesn't
salt the walkway in the winter, that is his negligence, but if students have
unsafe conditions in their own living area, they fall responsible for any
    And what about car insurance? If a student is taking a vehicle, owned by
mom or dad, to university, check to make sure coverage is in place. Some
policies restrict family members with less than ten years driving experience
from operating the car, except in emergencies. Also, if the student is now the
principal operator, a change may be required on renewal. If the student is the
owner of the vehicle, the insurance company should be notified of the new
residence location, even if the actual mailing address isn't changing. Auto
insurance rates are affected by where the car is garaged at night.
    "With all the variables involved, the safest bet is to consult with your
insurance advisor about which approach is best for you," concludes Hanson.
"Attending university or college today is an expensive proposition. A few
minutes spent reviewing insurance issues may help save money later on."

    About BCAA

    BCAA Insurance is one of the largest providers of home, auto, travel
medical and life insurance in B.C. BCAA insures over 100,000 homes in the
province and receives an 80 per cent total satisfaction rating with the
overall claims process - 40 per cent higher than the industry average. Each
year, BCAA sells more travel insurance than any other provider in B.C. To
learn more about the products and services offered by BCAA Insurance, visit

For further information:

For further information: Brooke Hanson, Insurance Product Manager, BCAA
Insurance Services, Tel: (604) 268-5590, E-mail: brooke.hanson@bcaa.com; Trace
Acres, Director, Corporate Communications, Tel: (604) 268-5029, Cell: (604)
788-3753, E-mail: trace.acres@bcaa.com

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