The Benefits of Renter’s Insurance for College Students
When the students of New Jersey’s Seaton Hall College awoke from bed that morning ready to great a new day, little did they know that before the day was out a massive fire would have swept through their dormitory, taking lives and destroying the precious possessions of students on limited budgets trying to obtain an education in one of the most expensive metro areas in the country.
That day, January 19, 2000 would end with 3 deaths, 58 injuries, hundreds evacuated and several arrests, but it would not be the only campus fire, not even the only fire in Seaton Hall. In Seaton Hall alone there have been 5 additional fires between 1973 and 2000. Fortunately the others resulted in nothing more than smoke damaged possessions and bad frights.
Seaton Hall is not even unique. The litany of deadly fires within the past few decades has included fires at:
University of North Carolina
University of California
Ohio State University
Greenville (Ill.) College
University of Tennessee .
Murray State University (Ky.)
Central Missouri State University
Radford (Va.) University
And this list does not include the countless minor fires that destroy possessions but leave people unhurt. Whenever many people live in close quarters, there is an increased likelihood of accident, carelessness or crime.
Fire is only one of the many perils of college life. How will you replace your IPhone, laptop, ITune or Blackberry when your roomie’s kleptomaniac girlfriend makes off with them? How will you bail yourself out when your crazy frat brothers go a bit too far, and you find yourself and them in front of a judge charged with vandalism or when the local political activists lead a demonstration that gets the campus torn apart?
Renter’s insurance is one way to protect against the economic losses caused by fire, smoke and many other perils of college life. Protection against theft, vandalism, lawsuits, riots or civil commotions, and explosions are among the 17 standard coverages in a basic HO-4 renter’s policy.
According to Jayna Neagle, a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, you can buy about 30,000 to $35,000 dollars worth of coverage for personal property and $100,000 to $300,000 of liability coverage for about $150.00 to $300.00 per year. If you have a large amount of expensive electronics or live in an area subject to severe weather such as hurricanes, earthquakes or floods additional coverage can be purchased to for better protection.
Renter’s insurance can’t save your life, but it does pay for lodging when your dorm is uninhabitable, helps you get a lawyer when trouble comes knocking and insures that you can purchase clothing, texts and other essentials to get your studies and life back on track after fire, theft or riot.