Education policy: What should I consider when picking a product?

Some 22 Kenyan students have received scholarships worth Sh997 million by North American universities.

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Ensuring that your child receives a quality education from pre-school to tertiary institutions is a crucial goal for any parent.

With the ever-increasing costs of our children’s education, planning for school fees is no longer a luxury but more of a necessary benefit to take up. An education policy offers peace of mind to parents no matter what happens in the future.

Here are tips to consider when planning for your child’s education:

Start early

To effectively plan for your kid’s education, you need to start planning as early as possible. Knowing how long the children will be in school and for what period you intend to cover their education expenses is vital as it will direct you to the right policy details to consider.

With CBC being implemented, what is now considered basic education covers a period of 17 years. Some parents may want a cover for higher education including tertiary institutions, which means that the saving period or term of the policy may vary from one child to the other.

What is vital is having a conversation with a certified financial advisor once you welcome your child to the world. A financial advisor can guide you through the features of an education policy with your needs in mind. A parent is then able to make an informed decision that corresponds to their needs.

Uniquely, saving early enables one to utilise the most valuable resource, and that is time. As a parent, you will have the choice to save a minimal amount spread over time, which in turn gives flexibility and the opportunity to meet other financial obligations.

Where the education journey has already begun, having this policy still stands out as the best shield to help you achieve your dreams.

Assess your financial goals

Once a timeframe is set, assess your financial goals, including the type of education you envision for your children and the estimated costs. Be it private or public, learning institutions have costs and depending on one’s financial muscle, a parent is able to select options around the education policy matching his or her needs without necessarily causing a strain in their daily lives.

Having a clear goal will help you determine the savings you need to accumulate as well as the premium payments required to achieve your objectives.

From the plethora of policies offered by underwriters locally, there has to be something for someone, be it long-term or short-term, pricey or affordable, all needs are well catered for. However, to safeguard your savings the reputation of an underwriter cannot be ignored. Ensure that you select an insurance company that is financially stable and has a good claim settlement record.

Choose the right policy

When deciding on an education cover, consider your purchasing ability; affordability is key, the policy term, surrender period as well as estimated returns.

There are quite affordable policies that are as low as Sh2,000 per month, you can guarantee your child’s education to as high as Sh100,000 monthly depending on ability.

Regularly review and adjust

Life circumstances and financial goals can change over time. Therefore, it is essential to regularly review your education insurance policy and make necessary adjustments to ensure it remains aligned with your evolving needs. To do this, additional policies are recommended as your income grows.

A good education policy should enable a parent or guardian to save and protect the family against any negative events in future. This ensures a child’s education is guaranteed no matter the circumstances in case of the demise of a parent, total permanent disability, or critical illness.

Starting early, choosing the right policy, and staying proactive in your financial planning, are good steps to ensure that your children have access to quality education and opportunities for success, regardless of the financial challenges that may arise along the way.

The writer is the MD CIC Life Assurance Ltd and can be reached via [email protected]

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