College students have a lot on their minds this time of year besides meeting up with friends. They’re purchasing textbooks, finalizing class schedules, applying for jobs, and moving into apartments. With classes underway, has your college student considered purchasing renters insurance?
This young group of renters own a significant amount of electronics (including laptops, cell phones, ipods, televisions, and more), in addition to clothes, appliances, and furniture. These possessions may be protected under the parents’ homeowner policy, but special limits may also apply. If they rent an apartment off-campus, college students may not be covered under their parents’ policies. What’s more, if a fire or storm ravages the apartment, a landlord’s policy would only cover the building, not the renter’s possessions.
In a recent survey of apartment hunters by apartments.com, 67 percent of respondents reported not having renters insurance due to the cost of coverage, ignorance about the existence of renters insurance, or the belief that their possessions were not valuable enough to be covered.
What is renters insurance and how much does it cost?
Renters insurance provides coverage for loss or damage to personal property as well as liability coverage for injuries or damages for which the insured person is held liable.
Renters insurance is not expensive. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average premium ranges from just $15 to $30 per month—approximately the cost of two pizzas or 3-4 lattes per month. Some companies offer discounts if the renter’s vehicle is also insured through them.
How much coverage do you need?
When purchasing renters insurance, it’s important to take inventory of what’s in the apartment or dorm room to determine how much coverage to purchase. When the dollar value of those items is calculated, the total value may be surprising. Should a claim need to be filed, a comprehensive list of items (including purchase prices and serial numbers) will be required by the insurance carrier. It is recommended to make a quick inventory by taking photos or video of the room(s) or use an app like NAIC’s MyHome Scr.APP.book or the Insurance Information Institute’s Know Your Stuff R®. Remember to store the inventory in a secure, off-site location.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance also has a helpful article here on insurance coverage for college students, as well as this publication Insurance 101: A Guide to Insurance Basics for College Students.
To learn more the changing insurance needs of college students or renters insurance, contact Forward Mutual. With peace of mind about insurance coverage, your college student can get back to more important things, like studying for their next exam or finding a date for Friday night.