Insurance for renters sounds like a nice thing to have, right? But when disaster strikes, renters insurance suddenly becomes the best decision you ever made – at least as a renter. Then you start to think of it as more of an investment than an expense.
But do college students need renters insurance?
The 2015 Clery Act requires data collection surrounding campus crimes in the U.S. It reveals that colleges and universities reported 13,754 burglaries and robberies. During the same period, campuses reported 1,926 fires at on-campus student housing. The good news is that renters insurance is designed just for these types of mishaps.
College students and their families should consider purchasing the policy before the start of school. If you’re a college student (or parent), consider these scenarios:
- Say your backpack, bicycle or computer is stolen or damaged, and you can’t afford to replace any of them. Your worries are quickly wiped out and you can go back to classes if you’re a policy holder. Renters insurance can replace all of them.
- In a 2017 survey of student housing leaders, 98 percent of schools reported that they do not replace stolen or damaged student property. Be sure to check with your school what their policy is and how much money is at risk. In the event your school doesn’t replace stolen or damaged property, renters insurance has your back.
- Can you pay for damages you cause? Renters insurance includes personal liability protection and can help pay for unintentional damages when a student can’t. In addition to taking care of medical bills for people who got hurt on your property or as a result of a mistake you made, renters insurance will also cover the cost of repairs for the damage. Make sure the liability insurance you buy includes personal injury coverage, as it would pay for legal defense and settlement costs if you are sued (for example, for posting something objectionable on social media).
For students living in a dorm, their belongings will be covered under their parents’ renters or homeowners insurance. Yet, some policies limit coverage for items away from home to a percentage of the total amount of coverage for all possessions, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Typically there are also coverage limits on expensive items, such as computers. If necessary, buy extra coverage for these items.
Students living in off-campus apartments will need their own renters insurance policies.
College students and their parents are often caught off guard and unexpected incidents can cause major disruptions in a student’s education. The lesson is to secure protection against financial losses by making renters insurance a must-have for families with college students.
Still have questions? Check out these renters insurance FAQs.