What is renters insurance and is it a worthwhile expense for college students?
What Is Renters Insurance
If you live in a rented apartment, condo, or house, your landlord’s insurance never covers your personal belongings. That means if something valuable is stolen or a fire destroys everything you own, it’s your responsibility, not your landlord’s.
Since the cost to replace your personal property could be much more than you can afford, having a renters policy is a smart way to protect your finances.
A renters insurance policy typically gives you 3 types of coverage:
- Personal Property protects the value of your belongings from a covered event, such as damage from a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism.
- Liability protects you against a claim or lawsuit if a visitor gets injured on the property.
- Additional Living Expenses pays for temporary housing and meals if you can’t live in your rental while damage for a covered event is repaired.
Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?
Whether college students need the protections of renters insurance depends on where they live. A student who lives at home or in on-campus housing is covered under his or her parent’s renters or homeowners insurance.
Both renters and home policies usually have a cap on the amount of off-premises coverage. For instance, claims that a student makes on-campus could be limited to 10% of the parent’s coverage limit. In other words, if parents have $100,000 of coverage on their home, the student would be covered up to $10,000, after paying the deductible.
However, college students renting an off-campus apartment, condo, or house should have their own renters insurance policy. They aren’t eligible to get coverage from mom and dad’s renters or homeowners policy.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that students are too poor to have belongings to protect. Most students living off-campus have thousands of dollars worth of personal items, such as electronics, computers, furniture, bicycles, clothing, and textbooks that make buying renters insurance worthwhile.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
You might be surprised to learn that the average cost of a renters policy is only $184 per year. That’s a really inexpensive financial safety net that no renter should be without.
If a student is renting off-campus with one or more roommates, they may be able to purchase a policy together and split the cost. However, if you’re unsure about how long your living arrangement will last, it is recommended that you go ahead and buy your own policy.
Having renters insurance means that you’ll be in good shape if a roommate leaves the toaster oven on and causes a fire or there's a bad roof leak. You’ll have reimbursed living expenses to help pay for temporary housing and food if you have to move out due to an unexpected event. You won’t have to live without your favorite electronics or clothes for very long and can stay focused on your schoolwork.
More questions on renters insurance? Lallis & Higgins Insurance has answers!