Do You Need Renters Insurance in College? Yes, and Here’s Why

Being in college is an exciting time in your life. You’re on your own, pursuing your passions, hanging out with friends, and enjoying your home away from home with all of the stuff you need for college. But if something happened to your things — your laptop, smartphone, X-Box or even those pricey textbooks you’ve been reading late at night — you’d be out of some significant cash. Not good.

That’s why renters insurance (which isn’t that expensive, and may qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance, by the way!) is a real smart move.

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

What Does College Renters Insurance Cost?

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!

What Does College Renters Insurance 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 accidently 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.

Dorm living. If your parent’s house is still your main residence while you’re living in the dorms, some protection may be offered by their policy. However, even though you may get coverage for your belongings under their policy, the limit will be low — usually only about 10 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.

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.

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

And here’s something to consider for extra credit: get proactive and start an inventory with our home inventory spreadsheet, where you can track all of your possessions and have an up-to-date list in the event you need to file claim.

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Related Topics: Renters