What is Renters Insurance? (For Students)

You get the chance to select your own furnishings and decorate however you like, (as long as your landlord approves, of course). But don’t overlook most important aspect of responsible student living: renter’s insurance. You may think you don’t need it, but trust us, you do.

What is Renter's Insurance?

Rental insurance covers your personal property in the event of a break-in or disaster. That’s important since your landlord generally cannot be held responsible if property is stolen from your apartment. So if someone makes off with your prized comic book collection or your new iMac, it’s your renter’s insurance, not your landlord, that will cover the replacement cost.

Renter’s insurance will also cover the cost replacing your property in the event of a fire, flood or other disaster like hurricane or tornado. But remember there are usually limits on coverage.

But My Stuff Isn't Worth Much

True, you’re a college student who has filled your off-campus housing with second-hand furniture and thrift-store finds. That does’t mean your stuff is worthless. It has value. A used dining room table is better than no dining room table, right?

When discussing renter’s insurance for student apartments, you should estimate how much it would take to replace everything in your apartment. That doesn’t include the things that were there before you moved in — the refrigerator and stove, for example. Base your calculations on how much your stuff is worth. Then, when shopping for renter’s insurance, you’ll know what kind of coverage limit you need. That’s important because the cost of insurance for tenants is based on how much personal property you insure.

Additional Living Expenses

If your off-campus student housing is damaged by fire, flood or other disaster, your renter’s insurance will cover the cost of replacing damaged personal property as well as the additional costs of another living arrangement. Be sure to check the terms of your policy so you know exactly what would be covered in this scenario and when the policy’s “additional living expenses” benefit would be applicable. It might cover the cost of a hotel, another apartment or even food costs, if you aren’t able to cook meals in your apartment.

What's a deductible?

If you file any claim on your renter’s insurance, you’ll have to pay a deductible. When shopping for a policy, be sure to ask about this. You’ll have to pay the deductible before the insurance will pay for anything. Typically, higher deductible policies have lower premiums costs and vice versa. Just be sure to get a policy with deductible you can afford to pay. Otherwise, your renter’s insurance will be of no use when you need it most.

Ask other students on campus who they recommend for renter’s insurance. Chances are, they can point you to a reputable insurance agent who will walk you through the process and explain renter’s insurance in more detail.