Like most Canadian university students, you’ve coasted off your parents’ insurance until now. Your job barely paid more than minimum wage, and you lived at home and used your parents’ car. Cost and convenience kept you on your parents’ plan, but now you have a real job and you live at school. You should probably take charge of your own finances now.
This means you need to think about insurance. You might not think you need it, especially if you take public transit and you haven’t had so much as a cold in years. However, if something did happen to you, you probably wouldn’t have enough money to pay for that disaster out of pocket. Insurance would give you a financial safety net in this situation.
Every university student needs the four types of insurance listed below. Make sure you leave enough room for them in your monthly budget.
- Health Insurance
As a young person, you probably experience very few medical problems. You have a stronger immune system, stronger metabolism, and overall stronger body than other age groups. You probably haven’t had a real illness in years, and you defeat colds with ease.
Since you manage to stay so healthy, you might think of health insurance as a waste of money. However, a university education can do things to your body that weaken its ability to stay healthy, including:
- Not sleeping enough: Homework, parties, and other activities can keep you up all night. And the less you sleep, the weaker your immune system becomes. Your body doesn’t have a chance to repair and renew itself, so you become more susceptible to infections.
- Not eating balanced meals: A poor diet also comes with the university experience. Students subsist off of microwave meals and boxed macaroni and cheese. You’ll eat a lot of carbs, starches, and fats, so you’ll probably gain weight. This weakens your immune system as well, and it puts strain on your organs and systems, leading to all kinds of health problems. For example, these foods could lead to you needing your gallbladder removed.
- Drinking caffeinated beverages: Caffeinated sodas, coffee, and tea can all have negative effects on your body. Even non-caffeinated sodas and juices can have a detrimental effect, since their acids can wear away at your stomach lining, which could cause ulcers.
- Not exercising enough: Between class, homework, social activities, eating, laundry, and sleeping, you won’t have a lot of time for exercise. Some students even find that they stop exercising altogether, which leads to weight gain.
You’ll need health insurance just in case these things make you ill. You’ll also need health insurance in case you sustain injuries while hiking, partying, or participating in other activities. So don’t just brush getting this insurance aside—it could seriously help you if something happened.
- Renters’ Insurance
Most university students live in rental units during the school year. You don’t have to pay for any repairs or upgrades in the rental unit, so you might assume that you don’t need renters’ insurance.
First, let’s clear up some misconceptions about renters’ insurance. It doesn’t cover repairs unless you caused the damage and would have to pay for them anyway. It does cover other things, such as all the property you store inside your apartment.
Imagine if a thief broke in and stole your TV or laptop. Think about what you would do if your roommate left the stove on and burned the apartment down, destroying all your belongings. You would have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace everything you had lost.
If you had renters’ insurance, you wouldn’t have to worry about this expense. Your insurance company would pay for everything for you. Additionally, renters’ insurance doesn’t cost much. You can often bundle it with your car insurance, which makes it even cheaper.
- Homeowners’ Insurance
Not every university student lives in a rental unit. Some have enough money to purchase homes. If this situation applies to you, then you shouldn’t procrastinate on getting homeowners’ insurance. Like renters’ insurance, this insurance covers the property inside your home should theft or damage occur. However, home insurance does far more than that.
It also protects the home’s structure and yard from damage or destruction. Homes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you don’t want to have to rebuild one.
Students can benefit from their parents’ home owners insurance policies that extends to cover them while they are enrolled in and attending post-secondary education. As soon as they are done, the parents’ home owners insurance no longer covers them. The coverage will vary from one insurer to another so it’s a good idea for students to get advice from their insurance advisor as to what and if their parents’ policy covers them.
Homeowners’ insurance also covers you in case someone sustains injuries on your property. Even if a person just trips on the sidewalk, he or she could still sue you for damages incurred. This insurance will give you a financial safety net if a person like this actually sues.
If you walk or take public transit, then you don’t need this kind of insurance. However, most university students find it useful to own a car. It helps them travel efficiently from place to place, and it gives them the flexibility to go home on weekends. You won’t have to ask anyone for rides to parties or grocery stores.
If you do own a car, you’ll need auto insurance to protect you in case an accident happens. Even if you drive responsibly, someone else could crash into you. And if you accidentally damage someone’s car or property, you’ll need car insurance to protect you from the resulting expenses.
Even if you’re a university student, insurance matters. Talk to your insurance broker a TSG Insurance & Financial Services Ltd. to find the best insurance solutions for you.
For more insurance and financial planning services, please contact our insurance brokers at one of our 3 locations:
Medicine Hat Insurance: 403.526.3283
Brooks Insurance: 403.501.5123
Calgary Insurance: 403.723.9416