Does it Make Sense for College Students to Have Renters Insurance?

Considering the cost of tuition and books, most college students aren’t eager to spend even more money on renters insurance. This can, in some cases, be a mistake.

Students living on campus usually aren’t worried about renters insurance because their parents’ homeowner’s policy will normally cover any loss or damage to personal items. See if your policy has “off-premise coverage.”

Off campus, you’re on your own. Your landlord’s insurance normally only covers the building, not the belongings of the tenants. In addition, your roommate’s renters insurance will not cover any of your items. You’ll need your own policy. But, what is covered by renters insurance?

Renters insurance normally covers three things:

  1. It covers personal possessions. Your belongings are replaced if they are damaged or lost. It normally covers loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, and other causes. Check the details of your policy.
    • Think about the cost and hassle to replace all of your items if you’re without insurance.

  2. It offers liability protection. This coverage includes things like protecting you if your dog bites someone or if someone slips on your stairs and gets hurt.
    • Liability coverage will normally cover medical expenses, but it could also cover your legal expenses.
    • Think about how important this is when a broken leg can cost as much as $400,000 in some cases.

  3. It can provide additional living expenses. If your rental space is destroyed by a fire or a storm, this coverage will usually cover the cost of a hotel or temporary rental until your current place is repaired. Do you have a place to stay if your rental is uninhabitable?

Renters insurance is very affordable. In most cases, it’s under $200 a year. The cost does vary with the location, the size of the property, and the amount of coverage you want.

How to shop for renters insurance:

  1. Understand that replacement costs and actual cash value are not the same. Some policies will provide funds to purchase a brand new item, while others only cover the actual value of that item.
    • For example, if your old couch is destroyed, you might only get $50 if the actual value is covered. You can get a brand new couch if you’re covered for the replacement cost.

  2. Compare the deductibles between policies. This is one factor that many people ignore when shopping for a renters insurance policy. You might find the deductible is more than the value of all of your stuff.

  3. Be familiar with the claim procedures. Some insurance companies make it a lot easier to get your money than others. Do a search online about the insurance companies you’re considering.

  4. Inventory your personal items. Things can go much more smoothly if you have a list, photographs, or even a video of your belongings. Keep your inventory in a safe place, preferably away from your rental. Then you have proof of what you actually own.
    • If you claim your $4,000 television was stolen, it’s easier to be reimbursed if you can actually show that you owned the TV in question.

  5. Look at the payment options. It’s usually less expensive to pay for the entire year in advance, but most insurance companies offer other options. Some will allow you to pay quarterly or monthly. However, there’s usually an additional fee for that convenience.

Renters insurance makes good sense for most students. The cost is quite small for the protection provided. If you wouldn’t have the funds to replace your items, you’re taking a risk by not carrying renters insurance.

Take a careful inventory of your possessions and then determine if the cost of an insurance policy makes sense for you. If something catastrophic happens, you’ll be glad you have it.


Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

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