College Students and Apartment Rental Insurance

Heading off to college is an exciting time, but it also brings a whole new set of responsibilities. As teenagers and young adults set off on their own for the first time, they have to worry about protecting their home and their belongings. Choosing the right insurance coverage is difficult for even the most experienced adults, and it is certainly confusing if you are searching for coverage for the first time.

Whether you live in a dorm, rent an apartment, or rent a home, it is crucial to ensure your belongings are protected. Nobody expects a loss or theft, but property damage or liability issues can be an unfortunate part of life. Keep reading to learn more about apartment and renters’ insurance for college students, including what is covered by renters’ insurance.

What is renters insurance?
For college students that leave home to live on their own, the topic of renters’ insurance is guaranteed to come up. Renters’ insurance, or tenants’ insurance, provides benefits similar to homeowners’ insurance without covering the structure. Whether you are renting an apartment or house, renters insurance groups together coverage necessary for your belongings and living arrangements in the event of a loss.

What is covered by renters insurance for college students?
The exact coverage for renters insurance depends on the individual policy and coverage amount. However, there are certain coverage types that are universal. Personal property coverage protects your belongings by covering the cost of repair or replacement. If the event of a covered loss, such as theft, your clothing, electronics, and furniture can be fixed or replaced up to your coverage limit.

Liability coverage includes the cost of repairs for accidental property damage to someone else’s property. This type of coverage can also cover the medical bills of a guest, up to your coverage limit, if you are deemed responsible for their injuries. Finally, additional living expenses may be covered, including a hotel stay if there is damage to your residence.

Do college students need renters insurance?
Whether or not a college student needs renters insurance depends on their individual circumstances. For some students, they may be covered by their parents’ existing homeowners coverage. Others may be required to purchase renters insurance by their apartment complex or property management group. Also, on-campus and off-campus living situations tend to have different requirements for renters insurance.

On-Campus Living
Some college dorms do not require renters insurance, or they include the fees with the cost of living. For other colleges, a student’s belongings may be covered by their parents’ existing homeowners or renters insurance. It is important to check with your insurance agent to ensure that your college dorm or on-campus living arrangement is covered.

Your parents’ insurance policy may also have coverage limits. A college dorm would likely be classified as off-premises, which could have a different coverage amount. If you have high-value items like jewelry, musical instruments, or electronics, you may have to increase your policy’s coverage limit.

Off-Campus Apartments
Many apartments require proof of renters insurance before you can move in. Your parents’ homeowners or renters policy likely does not cover your belongings in an off-campus apartment. An individual renters insurance policy might be necessary to protect your belongings and provide liability coverage.

How much coverage is needed for college apartments?
To determine the amount of coverage needed, you should take an inventory of your belongings. Assessing the value of the items that will be in your apartment can help you decide the coverage limit needed. You should also pay attention to whether your policy provides coverage for replacement costs or actual cash value protection. With actual cash value, your protection includes depreciation. For replacement cost coverage, your policy can help cover losses at the current retail price.

High-value items, such as jewelry, collectibles, and electronics, may have a coverage limit. If your items exceed the coverage for property, you may be left replacing your items out of pocket. In these cases, additional property coverage may be necessary.

In some cases, your school may have direct relationships with insurance companies, or they can provide guidance on the necessary amount of coverage. Thankfully, renters’ insurance is relatively affordable. You can find quotes from various providers and determine which option works best for your unique needs.