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Do College Students Need Renters Insurance? Yes, If Living Off-Campus

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  • College students living in dorms may be covered by their parents’ homeowners insurance.
  • College students living off campus must purchase renters insurance to cover your belongings, and roommates must have their own. renters insurance.
  • The average renters insurance costs about $15 a month.
  • policygenius can help you compare renters insurance policies to find the right coverage for you, by correct price »

At the end of the summer, parents often pack up their college kids and head to the dorm or off-campus housing. there’s the usual checklist: towels, bedding, laptop, and laundry supplies. however, one element can be overlooked: renters insurance.

Reading: Why should college students have their own renters insurance policy

Students living in residence halls may be covered by their parents’ homeowners insurance. however, college students living off campus should purchase renters insurance to ensure their belongings are safe.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average renters insurance policy costs $180 per year, or about $15 per month. this is a relatively small amount to ensure your belongings are covered.

Do college students need renters insurance?

If you live in a dorm, you probably don’t need it. college students living in dorms may be covered by their parents’ homeowners insurance policy. Mike Gulla of Hippo Insurance told a tipster that some homeowners insurance companies offer a “student living far away at school” rider, where you include your student’s bedroom in the policy.

If you live off campus, you must purchase renters insurance. Even if your landlord doesn’t require it, renters insurance helps protect your personal belongings from theft, fire, and water damage. It also protects you from personal liability if someone is injured in your rental. The question is not whether you need renters insurance, but whether you can afford to lose your belongings and replace them yourself.

a cautionary tale from director and actress issa rae makes the case for having renters insurance. shortly after college she received a scholarship in new york city. As the New York Times reports, “One night, thieves broke into her apartment and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, including her laptops, her camera and all of her tapes.” if she had renters insurance, she would have replaced her equipment. instead, she was a total loss and she ended up leaving new york and coming home.

roommates are not covered by renters insurance

Renters insurance doesn’t cover your roommate. if you have a roommate, each roommate should have their own policy. renters insurance only covers the insured policyholder. it does not extend to other people living in the apartment or house.

What if you have to move in the middle of the year?

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One component of renters insurance is “loss of use.” loss of use provides reimbursement for temporary housing when a covered event renders your rental unit habitable.

yael wissner-levy, vice president of communications for lemonade insurance, told insider that if a student is evacuated mid-year due to the pandemic, lemonade allows them to stop and start their policy at any time, so they can move your policy to a new address as needed.

wissner-levy explained that for “loss of use” coverage to take effect, the evacuation will need to be formally declared by a “civilian authority,” such as the governor of your state declaring an emergency or signing an executive order to leave to live on campus, so that your policy covers your accommodation elsewhere.

added that this is “especially relevant for international students studying in the US, or even out-of-state students, who may not have a close family support system and may need to rely on a hotel stay in the short term.”

Renters insurance companies have different policies regarding “loss of use,” so it’s best to contact your carrier before assuming loss of use applies. if so, take detailed photos of the damage and be sure to lock and secure the premises as well.

what is renters insurance?

Your landlord has insurance that covers the building and structure, but your belongings inside the rental unit are your responsibility.

Renters insurance is a type of homeowners insurance, known as ho-4, that protects renters’ belongings from damage or theft. There are three parts of coverage in a renters insurance policy: personal property coverage, personal liability coverage, and “loss of use” coverage, if your rental becomes uninhabitable due to damage.

Renters insurance protects your personal property if it is damaged by a covered event, known as an insurance peril. Common insurance perils include fire, smoke, theft, and storms.

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Basic household belongings are covered, but you may need additional coverage for special items like high-end electronics, special jewelry, artwork, firearms, special bikes, and cash in case of theft. these items may need a “personal item” endorsement or rider.

If you’re the campus DJ and have a large vinyl collection or recording equipment, you’ll want to mention this to your agent to make sure you have enough coverage.

If you have a pet, you should let your agent know if you have an exotic animal, large dog, or certain breeds to make sure you’re covered. There may be limits to liability coverage if your pet attacks or bites a guest. if you don’t disclose the breed or your pet is an exotic animal, renters insurance may deny your claim.

wissner-levy noted that as a renter, you are protected against anything that causes water damage suddenly without any prior known issues, such as the accidental overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioning or sprinkler systems. You’re also protected if the sprinklers in your apartment go off and soak all your belongings, or if your pipes freeze in the winter and burst.

How much does renters insurance cost?

The average cost of renters insurance is $15 a month. Some factors that go into determining her premium are the amount of coverage she wants, where she lives, whether she has a pet, and her credit score. If you already have car insurance, you can get discounts by bundling your renters and your carrier’s car insurance.

Here’s the average annual premium for renters insurance by state, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

how to find the best cheap rental insurance

Like auto insurance, renters insurance can vary widely by state. Where you live will play a big role in your listing and each company will look at you differently.

You’ll want to shop around and get quotes from several different insurers. Compare quotes and find the most coverage types and limits. then shop around for the lowest premiums that fit your budget. See expert picks for the best renters insurance companies.

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