Learning Center

Renters Insurance and College

student working on computer while listening to music in college apartment

Protect your college-bound child's property.

When your child leaves for college, there are hundreds of things to think about. Often overlooked is insurance. Before they leave, make sure your college-bound child is adequately insured for all the “stuff” they take with them.

Whether moving into a dormitory or apartment, most students bring a lot with them – clothes, computer, furniture and personal electronics. It doesn’t take much to add up fast.

Create an inventory

Before your student heads to college, make an inventory of what they’ll take. Be sure to include expensive things such as computers, personal electronics, jewelry or musical instruments. Include a description, photos, price and a copy of the receipt for especially expensive items. If you or your child ever has a claim, this information will make the process easier and faster.

An easy way to make an inventory is with American Family’s DreamVault. This no-cost resource enables you to upload pictures, add descriptions and organize everything the way you like. With DreamVault, you’ll have all the information you need right at your fingertips and accessible any time from your computer or smartphone.

What’s covered?

Homeowners insurance generally provides personal property coverage for students living in a dormitory or other university-owned housing. It is typically 10 percent of what the parents have. For example, if the parents' possessions are insured for $100,000, the student is covered for $10,000.

If your child lives off campus, however, a parent’s homeowners policy may not cover them.

If a student lives in an apartment year-round and lists it as their permanent address, the parent’s homeowners insurance no longer applies. The student needs to purchase a separate renters policy for protection.

It’s also important to verify what items and risks are covered. Certain items such as expensive jewelry, electronics or musical instruments may need their own policy to be fully covered. And, a parent’s policy may not cover typical accidents such as liquid spilled on expensive electronics.

Depending on the situation, it may be best for your child to get their own renters insurance policy to protect their possessions. A renters policy not only covers your college student's possessions, it provides liability protection if someone gets injured in their apartment. Renters insurance is inexpensive and typically costs about $100-$150 per year for $15,000 in coverage.

Before your child heads off to school, sit down with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure all their needs are covered.

Additional Renters Resources

Your New Apartment – What do you have worth protecting between your new walls?

Renters Insurance Has You Covered – Know your options when purchasing a renters policy.

Tour Our Virtual Apartment - We'll show you lots of items worth protecting with renters insurance.

You and Renters Insurance Video - How would you replace your belongings if they were stolen from or damaged in your apartment?

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