Anyone renting should consider getting renters insurance, and college students are no exception.
Students living on campus may expect their school to cover damaged or stolen items. Off-campus students may assume their landlords will cover these costs. But in most instances, this is not the case. Most college students usually have thousands of dollars’ worth of personal items, such as electronics, furniture, clothes, textbooks, and bicycles. As a renter, it is your responsibility to provide coverage for your valuable items.
College students who purchase renters insurance can also get liability insurance, which can protect them from being sued if they damage someone else’s property. Examples of this include leaving the water running in the bathtub and it floods the apartment or leaving food unattended on the stove that starts a fire in the kitchen.
Liability coverage also helps if someone is injured in the policyholder’s apartment. For example, if someone slips on a wet floor.
According to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, monthly premiums for renters insurance are usually between $15 and $30 a month. The amount depends on the size of the rented space and number of insured items.
For students who may be covered under their parents’ homeowners policy homeowners policies often have higher deductibles than what you can obtain through a renters policy. For example, deductibles for renters insurance could be a low as $100, compared with a homeowners insurance deductibles, which vary but could be anywhere from $500 to $1,000 or more.
TYPES OF RENTERS INSURANCE COVERAGE
College students can choose from two types of renters’ insurance coverage: actual cash value, or replacement cost coverage. So what’s the difference? For example, two years ago, a student purchased a MacBook Air for $1000. The computer has now depreciated by several hundred dollars and actual cash value would be much lower.
Replacement cost coverage would cover the cost of getting the exact same MacBook Air, regardless of how much that would be. Consequently, replacement coverage will cost more than actual cash value.
There are several factors to consider when weighing the decision to purchase renters insurance. Ultimately, students have to weigh the cost of paying for insurance they may never use versus the cost of replacing their personal property in the event of an accident or theft or the cost of paying for damage or injuries they cause.
For more information on renters insurance policies no matter where you live, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.