CHICAGO — Every fall millions of college age students must decide whether to live on or off campus, but too few stop to consider how that decision can make a difference in how they protect their property, says the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). With 12.3 million parents and college-bound students spending $48.5 billion on apparel, furnishings and electronics, it is important to remember to protect these valued items with renter’s insurance.
Living in a dorm or off-campus apartment – Protect Your Stuff
“Many college students are just out of their parents’ house and living on their own for the first time, they have never considered buying insurance," said Christopher Hackett, PCI senior director for personal lines policy. “It is in everyone’s best interest to have a backup plan with renter’s coverage and talking with your insurer or agent is a great first step. The average consumer spends $1,092.00 on coffee each year. However, a renter’s insurance policy on average costs $240.00 per year. When you look at it that way, it only takes skipping a few coffees to make sure your belongings will be protected if the unexpected occurs.”
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. On the other hand, renter’s insurance also covers the items that students typically take with them to an off campus apartment. However, renter’s insurance also provides other important protection such as Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage to help with expenses should the 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. It’s always good advice to read over your policy to understand what is, and what is not covered.
“A renter’s 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 Hackett. “Renters insurance is affordable and can frequently be bundled with auto insurance to help keep costs low. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the landlord’s insurance will replace the tenant’s personal possessions. A landlord’s policy will only cover structural damage to the building from fire or wind. The personal belongings of a tenant are not covered under a landlord’s policy.”
As students head back to school with new laptops, tablets, printers, mobile devices, bicycles, stereo equipment, televisions and hard to replace items, it is important to consider protecting them from theft, fire, and accidental loss.