You might not realize it, but college students actually have valuable property. And these can be easily lost or damaged, as there were more than 30,000 burglaries and 6,000 fires on and around campuses in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Fire Protection Association.
Many students bring with them to college expensive items worth thousands of dollars such as electronics, cars, bicycles, furniture, etc. But when bicycles get stolen, furniture sustains damage from a fire or laptops malfunction, repairing or replacing such valuables can be pricey. Having renters insurance can be a more affordable way to cover your personal property and finances.
College students living at home or on campus may have their personal belongings protected under their parents’ policy. But those opting to live on off-campus housing such as an apartment, condo, or house should considering buying their own insurance.
But what exactly is renters insurance and how should you shop for a policy?
Types of Coverage
The two basic types of coverage include:
Personal Property: Covers the cost to repair or replace your belongings in the event they are damaged, vandalized, or stolen.
Liability: Protects you against any claims or lawsuits that may result from bodily injury or property damage to others while on your property.
Additional coverage may involve:
Living Expenses: Pays for temporary housing and meals while property damage from a covered event is being repaired.
Riders/Floaters: These are additional coverage purchased to protect expensive items such as fine jewelry.
Shopping for Renters Insurance
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, premiums for a renter’s policy averages between $15 and $30 per month. That said, there are multiple factors to considering when purchasing renters insurance.
Estimate the value of your personal belongings. This is the amount of insurance you will need in case anything happens to your possessions.
Actual cash value vs. replacement cost. Determine whether or not your policy offers “cash value” or “replacement cost” for claims. Cash value coverage reimburses you for the value of your property at the time of the claim whereas a replacement cost coverage reimburses the full value of the item.
Divide the expenses with roommates. Students living off-campus with roommates can purchase a renters policy together and split the cost.
Ask an insurance agent for advice. Parents with a home or renters policy can find out whether or not their student can get coverage and its cost.
Ask the school for advice. Many colleges and universities have arrangements with insurance companies that may allow students discounted rates.
Going to college should not be more stressful than it already is. Here at BMR Insurance, we want your personal property to be protected. Give us a call at 714-838-1911 and let us cover your expenses while you focus on your studies.