The benefits of renter’s insurance for college students

College is exciting, filled with adventure and learning.  For some students, this will be the first time away from home.  Freshman, and returning students, enjoy the shopping trips with parents each summer, purchasing new clothes, electronics and small appliances, and all of the textbooks themselves.

In all the excitement, most people do not think about insuring these new purchases, or the older belongings that are going away to college, also.  Most people are caught up in the emotions of going to school, all the opportunities that await, the new friends to be made, and for parents the proud heartache of a child growing up.  Not too many people think of a possible theft or fire, windstorm or hailstorm, which can damage the college student’s belongings.

Many students will be, at least, partially covered under their parents’ homeowners’ insurance policy, but this option presents problems to both the student and the parent.  For instance, the student’s belongings are only insured for up to 10% of the parents’ policy.  If the parents have a policy worth $100,000, the student is only covered for $10,000.  This seems like adequate coverage but when the value of all belongings is added up: computers, clothing, textbooks, electronics,  and so on, is it enough coverage? 

Additionally, any claims made will be made against the parents’ policy and numerous claims could affect the parents’ ability to retain, renew or obtain insurance in the future.  The best choice often is to purchase a renter’s insurance policy for the college student.

The benefits of renters insurance far outweigh the costs.  College students often have a limited income, if at all, and expensive possessions.  If a college student had to replace their belongings due to a fire in their apartment or other peril, the cost of replacement could easily run into the thousands of dollars.  This is not a cost anyone wants to incur.

Renters insurance protects the loss of personal property due to damage from several different perils including theft, fire, lightning, windstorm, hailstorm, weight of ice or snow and several others.  College students often live off-campus, with other college students and sometimes with a rather flexible “open door” policy of letting friends in and out of the residence.  Theft and fire may be a concern when living in an apartment building or with several roommates.  In addition, a renter’s policy will cover a loss due to liability of the insured for property damage, bodily injury to others or medical expenses for others who are injured in the college student’s residence.  Though many parents choose not to think about it, college parties and drinking alcohol do happen and sometimes people or property get hurt.  A renter’s policy may help protect against this kind of liability.

Any college student should protect their belongings and bring themselves peace of mind with a renter’s insurance policy.  After all, smart habits and life lessons are an important part of going to college.