While microschooling can be a creative way to ensure that your kids get the education they need, you’ll want to make sure your insurance covers you in case something goes wrong.
Here’s an overview of what microschooling is — and what to do about your insurance.
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What is Micro-schooling?
Microschooling is a way of setting up a small school in a home. It can be done in a spare room, a large area, or a garage. The idea is to get a “pod” of between four and 12 kids together to learn. The pod should be small enough that it’s possible to practice social distancing, as well as limit potential exposure to COVID-19.
While microschooling can be used even after the pandemic, one of the reasons it’s becoming so popular right now is to limit coronavirus exposure while still getting an in-person education.
But microschooling means getting someone to teach your kids. Some pods pool their resources and hire a full-time teacher to take care of the education aspects, while others manage it more like a co-op where parents take turns supervising the learning.
The idea is to provide an education, give parents some time to work or take care of other duties, and allow kids to get social interaction.
While it might seem like a good idea to get involved with microschooling, there are some things to consider before moving forward — especially if you use your home.
Insurance Considerations for Microschooling in Your Home
It’s probably one of the last things you think about when you’re trying to figure out microschooling but understanding the insurance implications is vital if you want to make sure you’re properly protected while microschooling.
When looking for insurance policies, you can use a site like Policygenius to compare plans, change your coverage, and get the best deal. Below are some things to consider as you review your insurance needs in light of adding microschooling to your home.
In many cases, when you add a home office, you need a rider. And while microschooling might not strictly qualify as a business, it’s an additional use of your home beyond living.
This might be the case if you have a dedicated area for microschooling. Whether you build a new shed in the back to house the students during school hours, or whether you use your living room, the fact that you’re altering the use of your home could cause problems with your homeowner’s coverage.
Find out if you need a specific rider to protect your personal property in the event of a problem. You don’t want a situation where you’re not covered because you put your home to additional use.
Take a look at your liability coverage. With more people in your home, especially since they’re coming and going frequently, you might need increased liability coverage.
What if the kids are playing and someone gets hurt? What if the teacher trips coming up the stairs?
Whenever you increase the number of people with access to your property, you increase the chances someone will have a problem. It’s important to review your limits and make adjustments if necessary.
Also, don’t forget to consider your other structures. If you have a trampoline or pool, those have their own liability issues in the best of times. Now that you have more children around for microschooling, you need to think of that impact and how it might change the liability calculations.
Finally, consider the transportation arrangements. Are you helping pick up children to bring them to your home? If so, you need to make sure your auto insurance property and liability coverage are sufficient for your situation.
Maybe the microschooling isn’t actually happening at your house. If that’s the case, you might be driving more than usual to get your child to and from the location. Some people reduced their coverage during the pandemic because they were driving less. If you’re picking up the driving pace again, you might need to adjust your auto insurance policy again.
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How to Budget for Insurance Changes
If you decide that you need to make some changes to your insurance because of microschooling, you could end up paying more — and impacting your budget. And it’s not just the insurance involved. After all, if you’re in a pod that’s paying a teacher (and potentially providing benefits as well), you might need to come up with extra money in your budget so that you’re contributing your share of the teacher’s pay.
First of all, you can manage costs by comparison shopping using a tool like Gabi to figure out your needs and then compare insurance rates to get the best price.
Even so, you might still be on the hook for higher costs. Review your budget to see where you can cut back. For some, the pandemic has meant lower spending on things like dining out, gas, and travel. Those savings can be shifted to cover higher insurance costs without the need to make further changes.
On the other hand, if your COVID-19 budget is similar to what you had pre-pandemic, you might need to make some adjustments. Go through your regular spending to see what you can cut back on, whether that’s subscriptions, frivolous purchases, or impulse buying online.
It helps to actually see exactly how much money you have and where it’s going. We suggest using a money management tool to keep track of your finances. Personal Capital is a great one to start with. It’s free and easy to use. You can read more about it in our Personal Capital review.
It’s also possible to find additional ways to make money. Some parents use microschooling as a way to help them free up time to work on a side gig or start a business. Think about where you could make the extra cash to help you pay for the extra insurance or the costs associated with helping to hire a teacher for your microschooling pod.
Finally, don’t forget to build up an emergency fund. With an emergency fund, you can afford a higher deductible, which can reduce your monthly insurance premiums. Additionally, having an emergency fund can help you take care of minor issues and expenses without the need to dip into your insurance or take out debt. This can help you with more than microschooling in these uncertain times.
We don’t know what the long-term impacts of the pandemic will be on the economy, education, or other aspects of our lives. One way to manage things right now is to consider microschooling. However, if you decide to take that step, you need to think through some of the consequences, including what it means for your insurance.
Carefully review your situation and your needs. Once you have an idea of what you’re likely to need, you can contact your insurance provider, or shop around for a new policy, so that you get the coverage you need to protect yourself while participating in microschooling.