What is education insurance?
Education insurance is a type of insurance that can help to pay for expenses related to an additional course of higher education after high school. Like all insurance, premiums are paid now in return for a benefit paid out later.
In the case of education insurance, coverage begins as soon as the policyholder starts taking classes at a post-secondary institution or training program, and ends when the policyholder no longer takes those classes or has been trained for their occupation.
The extra course of education may be required because:
It may be voluntarily pursued:
The cost of policies varies significantly based on factors such as age and area of study. Students financing their own education should consider all costs, including costs of additional courses or time required to complete their degree.
Insurance companies may offer discounts for students who are pursuing “practical” degrees that are more likely to result in employment after graduation, such as engineering or accounting.
Who is Eligible For Education Insurance?
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and isn’t already covered by a different education insurance policy can apply for coverage under an education insurance plan.
Applicants must be full-time students enrolled in a course of study at least 12 weeks long and approved by the provincial/territorial government.
If the applicant is over 25 years old and unable to demonstrate compulsory attendance requirements applicable in his province, he may still qualify if he is able to prove that his course of study is related to his occupation.
What are the benefits of Education Insurance?
Education insurance benefits are designed to help pay for items that are required in order for one to complete his or her post-secondary education.
Benefits are typically paid directly to the student until he or she reaches the age of majority, where they may instead be paid directly to their guardian or parent.
If the student’s major equipment fails, however, it may be necessary to have it repaired or replaced before coverage can begin. Only damaged equipment will be covered, not lost or stolen equipment.
For example, if a laptop computer is stolen from a car while it was parked on campus during class time, this would not be a covered loss.
What’s Not Covered in Education Insurance?
Education insurance benefits will not cover the following:
“In general, education insurance plans provide very little coverage for room and board or living expenses. Students often need to rely on loans or other sources of funding in order to pay living expenses while pursuing their studies.”
Also, if a student has been awarded a scholarship that meets these costs, he should consider whether it is preferable to use this money instead to offset the cost of his policy premium (if any).
Some students find that purchasing individual health insurance may be more effective than an education insurance plan, but it requires careful research into each plan’s terms and conditions.
Is there anything else I need to know?
As with all insurance, education insurance policies have exclusions and limitations. It is essential for the student to carefully read his/her policy to determine exactly what coverage they are purchasing. The following are some additional considerations that may be helpful:
- Educational institutions typically require photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) in order to verify attendance. Students should consider whether their current identification contains their correct post-secondary school address because the insurance company will need this information to process claims.
- If your child receives benefits from an education assistance plan (e.g., scholarship), you may need to check with the plan administrator before applying for an education insurance policy; these benefits may reduce or eliminate the need to purchase an education insurance policy
- Students must wait until the end of their full-time studies before they can apply for benefits
(e.g., if you want to receive benefits in January, you may only apply after December graduation). Benefits typically begin on the 31st day following the student’s final day of attendance at school.
Some insurers allow students to request that coverage be reinstated after a specified time period (e.g., during co-op or internship periods), however, these requests are subject to insurer approval and any resulting premiums may be higher than a standard plan.
- As with other types of insurance, some policies have exclusions related to pre-existing conditions; it is essential for you to be aware of a policy’s pre-existing condition clause before you purchase it.
An education insurance plan can provide peace of mind by protecting students against the financial risks associated with pursuing post-secondary studies.
However, it is important for families to consider their other available sources of funding, as well as the total cost of school expenses required for their child’s program(s) of study.
Some Canadian universities offer free health care if you are not from Canada. This includes dental and health care, but it does not include optometry or ambulance services which you will have to pay for yourself.