College renters

Do You Need Renters Insurance in College?

Updated February 24, 2020 . AmFam Team

Renting as a college student? Protect your personal belongings at a low cost. Learn more about renters insurance policies as a college student today.

Deciding whether you need renters insurance can depend on what type of college housing you live in. Aside from your living situation, renters insurance is a smart move and can protect you from further financial burden.

We’ve answered some common questions about renters insurance and how the right coverage can give you peace of mind.

Do I Need Renters Insurance If I Live in a Dorm?

If your parents’ house is still your legal main residence while you’re living in the dorms, some protection may be offered by their homeowners or renters policy. However, even though you may get coverage for your belongings under their policy, the limit will be low — usually only about ten percent of their personal property limit. So, having your own renters insurance gives you the peace of mind you need to sleep sound at night knowing all of your belongings are protected.

How Much Is Renters Insurance for a College Student?

We understand that being a college student means you’re living on a budget — a tight one. But here’s a nice surprise: renters insurance covers your valuable things and more, at an affordable price. In fact, it typically rings in at less than the cost of a pizza each month!

On average, American Family customers pay around $15 a month for a standard renters insurance policy. Some customers even qualify for a discount when bundling with car insurance. Talk to your agent to learn more about the types of discounts you can earn as an American Family customer.

What Does Renters Insurance for a College Apartment Cover?

You may not think you have that much to protect, but renters insurance covers more than you’d expect.

Recognize the value

Say your belongings get smoke damage from the fire your neighbor started when making ramen noodles, or even worse, your apartment is unlivable. Can you afford the extra expense for temporary accommodation? Perhaps you accidentally chucked a Frisbee straight into your neighbor’s window and shattered the glass. These circumstances wouldn’t be covered under your landlord’s insurance, which is a common misconception, but your own renters insurance could protect you from the financial burden that comes with common gaffes or unexpected events like these.

Personal possessions

Renters insurance may cover things like your computer, bicycle, long board, TV, phone, gaming systems, your expensive (and heavy!) text books — most things that you wouldn’t want stolen or damaged. In fact, with renters insurance, your possessions are protected in the event something happens to them while you’re in class, at the library, and even when you’re on the go, like road trips home or when you’re on spring break.

Loss of use

If your place gets damaged and you’ve got nowhere to go, don’t sweat it. Your renters insurance could reimburse you for alternate accommodations and other costs while you’re displaced. Sounds better than sleeping on your friend’s couch, huh?

Personal liability coverage

If someone were to get hurt at your place, the personal liability on your renters insurance policy may protect you against financial loss if you are sued.

Medical coverage

If a friend slips and falls on your freshly mopped floor, or you accidentally knock someone over while running to make it to class, medical payments help avoid lawsuits by quickly covering smaller medical bills without regard to fault.

Adding identity protection

Since you’re an independent adult now, you might open a credit card for the first time or even your first checking account. Though credit card companies and banks work hard to keep your personal information safe, identity theft is still a possibility. The information you’re sharing online during everyday activities, such as online shopping and social media, is not as secure as you think. In the event your identity is stolen, identity theft protection assists you throughout the recovery process, including financial assistance and helpful resources to restore your identity.

Consider talking to your agent about adding this to your renters insurance policy. It could help you avoid some hassles and headaches down the road.

Am I Covered Under My Parents’ Homeowners Insurance Policy?

There are a few factors that determine if you’re covered under your parent’s homeowners insurance policy when you’re a college student.

Off-campus renting

If you live in off-campus housing, you may not be covered under your parents’ homeowners insurance. This is the perfect time for you to start “adulting” and make the responsible decision to add renters insurance. You’ll be pleased you do in case the unexpected happens!

Liability coverage

Take a load off Mom and Dad’s mind and get your own liability protection. Your renters policy includes liability coverage for both dorm living or renting a place off campus, with coverage limits you can select to meet your needs. They’ll be glad to know that if something happens, your policy will pay before theirs!

Is My Roommate Covered Under My Renters Insurance Policy?

The short answer is no. Both you and your roommate should have your own policies, which allows you both to get the customized protection that’s right for you. Get the 411 on roommates and renters insurance to learn more.

So You Need Renters Insurance? Take These Next Steps

As a college student, you’re probably more concerned about studying for exams and hanging with friends than thinking about renters insurance. But proactively protecting your belongings is one of the smartest things you can do. Connect with your agent today (Opens in a new tab) to find out more about how renters insurance can help protect your growing dreams!

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