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Protecting your child’s education

By 24/11/2018No Comments

An insurance guide for parents of children at independent schools

by Clare Cave
Director at SFS Group

Choosing the right school for your child is a huge decision – taking many hours of careful thought and research. You want to make sure you consider every option and look at every possible angle to find the perfect choice. After all, this is something that will affect the rest of their lives.

Once you’ve secured that all important place, the next step is to secure your finances. Many parents are aware that there are products that can help spread the cost across a period of time, to help with budgeting and make fees more affordable. These payment plans can be extremely helpful and can be the difference between deciding to opt for an independent education or not.

However, what many parents aren’t aware of is that there are a number of insurance products available that can secure those payments, no matter what the future may hold.

Here are details of those policies, providing the full picture about what protection
is available:

School Fees Insurance
After the mortgage, school fees are probably the next largest financial commitment for families with children at independent schools. Many will have taken steps to protect their homes but may never have known they could do the same with their children’s fees. If one parent dies or suffers a serious illness, it could be extremely difficult to find the money required to keep your child at the school you’ve chosen.

What does it cover?
This product covers your school fees until your child turns 18 should you become terminally ill or die. Benefit payments are made directly to the school, therefore avoiding any tax or probate issues that may be encountered through traditional life insurance policies. No medical underwriting is required to take out the insurance. Critical illness cover can be added to the policy too, at an additional cost. A choice of different levels of cover are available.

School Fees Refund Insurance
Most of the time, when children are ill they’ll only be off school for a day or two. However, if they contract something more serious, such as glandular fever, they could be off school for two or three weeks, or even longer. Similarly, if they suffer a broken arm or leg, they may need to spend time at home to recuperate. All this time, parents will be required to continue to pay fees despite their children not being in school.

What does this cover?
This product provides a refund of your school fees if your child misses school due to accident or illness. Each policy will have a defined deferred period – a time the child needs to be off school before a claim can be made. Typically, this length of time will be between five and 10 days. There is a choice of different levels of cover available. Some policies will also cover weekends for children who are at boarding school.

Pupils’ Personal Possessions Insurance
Technology has become an everyday part of education. Pupils are often required to complete their work on a computer and may need to take it into school to use in their lessons. Mobile phones have become almost universal among children at senior schools and over a third of those aged eight to 11 own one. These are expensive items that can be difficult to live without and can be easily damaged in a hectic day at school.

What does this cover?
There are a range of different policies available for pupils’ possessions, offering different levels of cover. The most useful attributes to look out for are a low excess and cover for accidental damage. While it is possible to include your children’s possessions on your household contents insurance, having a separate policy will often work out more cost effective and will protect any no-claims bonus that you may have.

Income Protection Insurance
Cover is also available to protect against long-term health conditions that aren’t classed as a critical, serious or terminal illness. The most common cause for a prolonged sickness absence for employees in the UK is mental illness, which could be covered by
this protection.

What does this cover?
This provides insurance cover to pay for school fees should you become ill or have an accident and be unable to work for a set number of weeks. A range of different cover levels are available, and payments are made directly to the school in monthly instalments. Payments will continue until you return to work, your child reaches 18 or for five years, whichever happens first.

Securing the best possible education for your child is one of the best gifts you can ever give. It opens up so many possibilities for their future.
It makes sense to spend just a little time on your financial planning to ensure you have the right protections in place, so they can follow whatever path they choose.

Clare Cave is Director at SFS Group who has, for over 25 years, been providing parents of children at independent schools with innovative insurance products that give peace of mind for whatever the future may hold.