Why Should College Students Buy Renters Insurance?
When your child goes off to college, they have to live somewhere, right? Whether it is a dorm or off-campus housing, they have a home that they call their own. Even though they rent the home, rather than buy it, they may need insurance. Renters insurance protects the renter in the face of disaster or theft.
How do you know if your college student needs coverage? We discuss the different scenarios below.
Living On Campus
A majority of colleges require students to live in on campus for at least the first part of their college experience. Dorm life might seem cramped, but you’d be amazed at the number of things students still bring with them. Electronics, jewelry, and other personal items can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. What would happen if theft or a fire occurred?
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Luckily, for most dorm-dwellers under the age of 26, their parent’s homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of their belongings. It pays to find out exactly what your policy will cover, though. Some have a maximum dollar amount. Others offer a specific percentage of the total coverage for the home. Let’s say you have $100,000 coverage for personal belongings on your home. If your insurance company offers 10% coverage for college students, your college student would have $10,000 in protection.
Is this enough? It’s a personal decision. Think of the items your child brings with him/her to determine if you should purchase renters insurance on top of your own policy.
Living Off Campus
If your child’s college doesn’t require dorm living or they already met the requirements, they may choose to live off campus. Renting an apartment or house with a bunch of friends can be much cheaper for students. As soon as your child leaves campus, though, your homeowners insurance policy will not provide the necessary protection. In this case, he/she will need renters insurance.
The coverage your child will need goes beyond the cost of covering their personal belongings. They now rent an apartment or house that carries liability and the risk of loss of use. The coverage not only protects your child’s belongings, but also his financial wellbeing moving forward. If something were to happen and your child got sued, the renters policy could help protect their finances if you have the right coverage.
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How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
Believe it or not, renters insurance isn’t that costly. On average, you may spend $190 per year for coverage. That’s less than $200 for peace of mind. You can decrease the premium you pay by splitting the cost with your other roommates. However, you should be sure that you will live with the same roommates for the year. If you are not sure, buying your own policy is often worth the cost. It protects you against accidents, theft, and natural disasters that could affect your belongings.
Shopping for Renters Insurance
Just like any other policy, make sure you shop around for the right renters insurance. First, we recommend talking to your homeowners insurance agent. See what coverage your current policy offers. From there you can decide the next step to take. After you get a quote from your current agent, secure quotes from at least three other agents. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from your child’s school or landlords in the area as well. This way you can get the lowest premium for your renters insurance with good coverage.
Whether or not college students need renters insurance depends on the situation. If you like to err on the side of caution, pay the average $190 per year and take the coverage. This way you and your child have peace of mind if something happens.
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