At college and renting? Here’s why you need renters insurance.
Renters insurance isn’t expensive. But it is important.
College and grad school can be a great time – especially if you can score off-campus living space. Less noise and a lot more privacy are big perks. So’s the extra space for your stuff and the room to have a few friends over.
What could go wrong?
Quite a lot, actually: theft, fire, and accidental injuries for a start. Your landlord is not responsible for your belongings, so if your clothing, laptop or other electronics, books, or other belongings are stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you’d have to pay out a lot of cash to replace them. If a visitor slips on your rug and needs a visit to the emergency department, you’re likely on the hook for the costs. (It’s called "liability.")
Isn’t it the landlord’s problem?
Nope. We repeat: Your landlord is not responsible for your belongings or for most accidental injuries that happen inside your apartment.
It’s not expensive
- It won’t cramp your pizza budget. Most policies cost about $18.50 a month.
- It can save you money on car insurance. You’ll usually get a “multi-policy” discount that applies to your renters insurance and your car insurance. Now you’ll save on both.
So what does it cover?
- Your belongings inside your apartment. Say your neighbor’s dinner catches fire, and it spreads to your place. It destroys or badly damages (smoke, soot, and water) your clothing, electronics, equipment, etc. You’d be covered.
- Temporary alternate living quarters. Remember that fire? Well, if it rendered your place uninhabitable, your renters policy would cover temporary living arrangements, such as staying in a motel, and a few other related expenses.
- Stuff in your car. If your car is broken into and someone steals your sports equipment, textbooks, or other property, your renters policy will cover it. Your car insurance won’t.
- Claims against you. Say you and some friends were playing pickup baseball. You nailed a fastball, and it hit the pitcher – hard enough that a trip to the hospital was needed. Now your friend’s insurance company wants you to pay the bill. Relax. Your renters policy provides coverage for injuries you accidentally cause to others.
But doesn’t my parents’ insurance still cover me?
Not necessarily. If you are over 18 and renting this residence in your name, your parents’ policy may not provide coverage. You may be covered by a small portion of their property and liability coverage if their home is still your legal residence. But really, isn’t it time to start adulting and building up a financial history?
Smart isn’t the same thing as savvy.
You’re smart enough to be in college. Make sure you’re also savvy enough to plan ahead and protect your assets and even your future. A savvy person knows that accidents happen and has a way out. Be that person.
Our Risk Coaches™ are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Contact your local Risk Coach professional or call us at 800.342.5342, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.