Posted in Hacks, on 09/17/2015
Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?
Q: Do you need renters insurance if you’re just a college student with not very much stuff?
A: As with many big questions, the answer depends on you and your needs. For many people, the answer is yes. One thing is for certain - every smart student has at least considered renters insurance, and how to protect the things they own.
You carry more risk than you think
Ah, college. Smells like freedom. Or wait, did your roommate just burn popcorn again? And, seriously? Someone forgot to lock the door again?
Minor speed bumps can get old fast when you are the only one who understands locks, or have to evacuate your building at 3am over burned popcorn triggering the smoke alarm.
When it comes down to it, even if you are very responsible, your stuff is as safe as the weakest link in your building, or the most enterprising thief in the vicinity. And, let’s be honest, we all have lapses. Everyone’s wrestled with whether to leave a laptop on the table while visiting the restroom at a cafe or in the library.
At the end of the day (or night)...these are good reminders to protect yourself in case a real emergency comes along.
Your stuff is worth more than you think
You’ve got a lot of valuable stuff — computer, phone, textbooks — in your room. The average college student brings thousands of dollars worth of things to college, and we’re all living on budgets.
Take a minute. Just looking at the top five most expensive things in your room, what is your best guess for replacement value? Do you have the cash to replace them if anything goes wrong? Do you know what your options are if your things are stolen or damaged at college?
Renters insurance can be worth the cost
Replacing even just a few big items can easily set you back a lot of money, and, big news — it’s completely avoidable if you have renters insurance.
For a cheap monthly premium — most policies are under $20 per month — renters insurance covers your personal property in case of damage or loss.
When picking a policy, you’ll choose how much coverage you want — we’ll cover this in-depth later on. It also covers a few other things, like liability in case someone is injured at your apartment, and living expenses in case you can’t stay at your apartment for a covered reason.
Renters insurance can also be complicated, but knowledge is power!
Renters insurance is a good idea for most people, but it is definitely not perfect. Renters insurance won’t cover all the things you own, or every situation that you wish it would, and it can be tricky to decode and get the most out of your policy.
Like most insurance, navigating renters insurance is a lot easier if you do some homework upfront and make sure that you follow some best practices before you make any claims. Look out for our demystifying insurance series, or The Student’s Guide to Renters Insurance, which will give you a roadmap of how to choose the best policy and get the most out of it every step of the way.