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Reply To: Host families and home insurance

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Hi Kathren,

I have spent some time inquiring about home/ rental insurance regarding home stay families and hosting international students that may be helpful to the community.

We had three break and enters in 2015 where home stay families items were stolen along with the students items.
At first I thought the all the host families items and students items would be covered under the host families home or renters insurance.
However after speaking to approximately six different insurance companies in the North Shore I found out that :

Some home or renters insurances are void when hosting a international student, some companies require the home owner or tenant to add the student to the insurance and some do not (only one of our host families formally adds the student to the home insurance) and their are dozens of different insurance provides with different rules
I was told all home or renters insurance products are “void” if the host family is hosting more then two students (which I do advise our host families to look into before accepting a third student, along with provinical guidelines, bi-law etc)
Student items will never be covered under hosts home or renters insurance because they are not considered a family member but “boarders” there are no home or renters insurance products that cover students items stolen from the home stay. The student should have belongings insurance from the home country
Our home stay agreement states “Host Families must carry full personal liability insurance of not less than 2 million dollars” (from Harris and Co). My understand this liability insurance is through either home or renters insurance and pertains to personal injury of someone on the home stay property and has nothing to do with anyones actual belongings. My understanding is that Guard Me also has third party liability coverage (if the student accidentally hurts someone within the home stay) I.e dropping a item by accident that injures a family member.

I hope this helps to clarify.


Amanda Burkholder
Homestay Manager
International Programs
T 604 981 1159 C 604 341 0515