CHICAGO – With back-to-school preparations in full gear, it is estimated that parents and college-bound students will spend billions of dollars on electronics and furnishings for dorms and apartments, but they would be wise to consider adding renters insurance to their shopping cart, says the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI).
According to the National Retail Foundation’s 2015 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, total spending for back-to-college is expected to reach $43.1 billion. As a result, students are heading back to school with laptop computers, tablets, printers, mobile devices, bicycles, stereo equipment, televisions and hard to replace items that should be protected from theft, fire, and accidental loss.
“A renters insurance policy gives parents and students peace of mind that their personal possessions are covered and will be replaced should an unforeseen event like a fire or theft happen,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. “Renters insurance is affordable and can frequently be bundled with auto insurance to help keep costs low.”
Many renters don’t think they need insurance and believe their landlord’s insurance will cover the replacement of their personal belongings. However, a landlord’s policy typically only covers certain structural damage to the building such as losses from fire or wind. The personal belongings of tenants are not covered under the landlord’s policy.
Living in a dorm or off-campus apartment
There are several important insurance-related issues that should be considered as college students move away from home. A typical homeowners insurance policy will provide 10 percent of the personal property coverage limit for items kept away from home such as in a dorm. Renters insurance covers many of the expensive items that students typically take with them to an apartment on a college campus. It’s always good advice to read over your policy to understand what is, and what is not covered. Renters insurance provides other important protection such as Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage to help with expenses should your apartment become uninhabitable due to a covered loss such as a fire. Liability coverage can protect you if a guest injures themselves while visiting your apartment.
“Recent surveys show 36 percent of households rent their home or apartment,” said Hackett. “Many college students are just out of their parents’ house and living on their own for the first time. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a backup plan with renters coverage. A renters policy will not wake up students in time for an 8:00 a.m. class, but it will help replace expensive items like computers, tablets, smart phones, TVs and furniture if something unexpected like a theft or fire occurs. Before starting off on this new phase of life, pick up the phone and talk with your agent or company about rental insurance.”