There are many financial considerations to make when you head off to college, including what household supplies you need to purchase and whether you have the right textbooks and school supplies. There are also plenty of things besides money to worry about on this new adventure, such as managing your class load and whether your roommates’ personality will mesh with your own. One thing many college students don’t consider is whether they need insurance.
During the first years of college, students typically reside in the college dorms. While living on campus, your belongings are usually covered from disasters under your parents’ homeowners insurance. However, if you plan to live off campus this year, and you are taking personal items with you (i.e., computer, clothes, electronics), renters insurance is necessary because your parents’ homeowners insurance will no longer cover your property when you live on a rented premise.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance covers your stuff, whether it’s a laptop or television, in case it is damaged by an unexpected event. If an unfortunate disaster befalls your apartment, like a fire, you can make a claim with your insurance company, and it will pay to replace your property (minus a fixed charge called a deductible).
There is a popular misconception that renting an apartment or house means that the landlord is responsible for all that can go wrong, including replacing your belongings if they are stolen or damaged as the result of an unexpected incident.
If a storm causes a power outage and your groceries are spoiled before the electricity returns, the landlord isn’t responsible for replacing them. Alternatively, if your laptop is stolen one night, it isn’t the landlord’s responsibility to supply a new one. Landlords have insurance in place to protect what they own, like the building and its appliances. When you buy renters insurance, it will cover your things.
3 Reasons College Students Should Buy Renter’s Insurance
College comes with many expenses including textbooks, new electronics, groceries, and additional school supplies. In fact, college families were surveyed to spend over $900 each preparing for the current school year. Despite being yet another expense, renters insurance is worth buying, because it’s an affordable and easy way to protect these possessions from unexpected events.
It Protects Your Belongings and Your Wallet
In the event of a fire, you could lose all of your belongings overnight. How would you pay to replace those items? What if a guest sues you after being injured in your place? Renters insurance includes two key coverages: property damage and personal liability. When a covered event occurs, it pays you money to cover damage or theft of your personal belongings, everything from your bed to your iPad. It also covers legal liability costs.
Covered events for property damage include catastrophic events, such as a fire or storm, as well as theft. For instance, say you ride a bike to campus every morning and usually secure it with a lock at a bike rack in the evening when you return. One morning you discover the chain is cut, and your bike is gone. If you have renter’s insurance, the insurance company will pay you the cost of replacing it.
The liability portion of renters insurance kicks in if you, the renter, are found responsible for a visitor’s injury or damage of their property. If you host an evening study session and one of the attendees fall down your steps and breaks her leg, and you are found liable, the insurance would pay costs associated with the injury up to policy limits.
Yes, college students are known for being broke, but renters insurance is extremely affordable. While the last thing you want is another expense, renters insurance is worth buying to lower the risk of replacing your belongings after a major disaster damages your property. In fact, the average cost is less than $16 a month, so for the price of a few cups of coffee you can give yourself peace of mind and protect your bank account.
It’s Easy to Buy
If you think you’ll need to make an appointment with an insurance agent to discuss your policy and can’t figure out how to fit one more thing your to-do list, there is good news. Renters insurance can easily be purchased online in just a few short minutes from some of the best renters insurance companies.
New startups such as Jetty and Lemonade make it easier than ever to get a policy in a matter of minutes. Plus, they offer monthly subscription terms, which means if you move back home or to a new location, you can quickly cancel or update the policy from your phone.