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Does Your College Student Need Renter’s Insurance?

Parents will face plenty of stress when sending their kids off to college. The safety and security of college students’ personal items – including bicycles, computers and other, more expensive belongings – will likely come to mind, begging the question of whether to get renters insurance.

It is worth noting that most homeowners policies extend some contents and liability coverage to family members away at school. However, the types of smaller, more likely losses that happen at college may also be less than many homeowners policy deductibles, potentially leaving families to self-insure such property. In addition, what might be covered in a college dorm might not be covered in an off-campus apartment rental. Your independent agent can help you navigate all the questions and options to ensure you have the information necessary to make the right decision.

If possessions and personal liability are not going to be fully covered by your homeowners policy, you will need to weigh the cost of renters insurance against the benefits.

Let’s break down the facts to help you to decide how to proceed:

  • The National Center for Education Statistics, a government agency tracking higher education trends, recorded 27,600 incidents of crime at universities in 2013. Roughly 15,500 of those – or 56 percent – were burglaries.
  • Citing FBI data, news publication USA Today reports bicycle thefts are the leading crime at college campuses, with anaverage loss of $250 per incident and annual damages adding up to $350 million.

With this in mind, it is always best to assess the cost of renters insurance versus the potential for loss.

As noted below, most basic renters policies are fairly inexpensive, so it may be hard to imagine the yearly cost of renters insurance being higher than a potential theft or loss. Consider the following information:

  • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a trade organization for insurance regulatory professionals, estimates the average monthly premium for renters insurance falls between $15 and $30.
  • Computers, textbooks, bicycles and other common items kept in dorm rooms and college apartments can be easily valued in the thousands of dollars.
  • CNN Money noted renters insurance can cover liability and extra living expenses in addition to personal property.

Talk to us today to see if renters insurance is right for you and your student. Contact Dana Grimm with our agency and Dana will be glad to help answer some of your questions.