Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Most college-age freshmen have never lived anywhere but in the homes of their parents or guardians. They have never had to consider insuring their belongings and to be honest, this concept can be confusing, even to experienced insurance buyers.

What is Renters Insurance?

This is a protection coverage that helps you repair or replace items that may be damaged by fire, theft, or water damage.

The property owner on record more than likely has insurance coverage on the building you are renting space in. If there is a fire the property owner will be compensated by the insurance company for damages to their property. The insurance company will not compensate the person renting the space for any belongings they may lose during the fire.

Renters should always buy policies that will help them recover their lost or damaged items. Some landlords require tenants to carry these policies on their personal belongings, but not all landlords do. Remember, the policy protects your belongings and without a policy, you will be financially responsible for replacing anything you might lose during a fire, theft, or if the pipes burst and water damages supervene.

On-Campus and Off-Campus Coverage Needs

Not every college student that leaves home to go to school will need to buy this kind of property coverage. There are three basic living arrangements for college students.


The students who live at home are still covered by the insurance policies of their parents or guardians.


When a student lives on the campus in a dorm room or affiliate housing provided by the school buying renters insurance may not be necessary. Some homeowners policies, that the parents or guardians have extended to cover the personal belongings of college-age children that reside in housing on the campus of the college they are enrolled in.

Before you decide whether your child, or whether you need to buy coverage for on-campus rooms call your agent or review the contract you have.


A student who lives off-campus is more likely to need to get renters insurance coverage. The policies that extend to protect the belongings of children attending college and living away from their main home do not generally cover any living situation that is not confined to the campus of the educational facility.

Tips on Buying Coverage

Homeowners’ insurance companies in California do not all offer the same types of coverage. When you compare premium quotes from two or more agencies make certain you are comparing quotes that provide the same general coverages.

The main difference between the policies and the cost of the policies is the details of what is covered. Before you call and start asking for price quotes you should decide a) what things need to be protected by the policy, b) the value of those items or the amount it will cost you to replace or repair anything.

The sentimental value increases what you think an item is worth. The quilt your grandmother sewed by hand is priceless to you, but when you are determining the actual value you cannot consider the sentimental value. You have to find a similar item that can be purchased and determine the fair market value of your item.

When you are considering the fair market value of your items you have to consider the manufacturer, the original purchase price, the current market price for an identical item, and the age of the item. The mini-fridge that your family has owned for several years will not get the same amount of compensation as a mini-fridge that was bought in the last six months.

Other useful tips include:

  • Compare the rates of several companies. You will be surprised at the pricing differences that happen between different companies.
  • Compare the payment methods the agency offers. Some policies require you to pay for a six-month or one-year period of coverage upfront. Other policies may allow you to pay in monthly installments. Monthly installments normally make your yearly premium higher because you pay for convenience. However, it is often easier to come up with smaller monthly amounts than it is to pay for a full year at once.
  • Consider replacement cost policies. In these policies, the age of your items is not considered if they are damaged. The only consideration is how much it would cost to replace the property with a similar one.
  • The amount of the deductible that you pay before you can file a claim affects the cost of the policy. The higher the deductible the less the coverage costs you per year, but when something happens this means more money comes out of your pocket before you get any reimbursement.
  • Look at additional living expense coverage. If you have to live somewhere temporarily that costs more than you usually pay this covers the difference for you.
  • Liability insurance that will cover expenses if you or someone in your home is injured as a result of something you did, a member of your household did, or your pet did.
  • Liability insurance covers damages to the premises that may be caused by es that may be caused by you, your pet, or a member of your household.
  • Ask people you know to recommend companies they use for similar insurance coverage.
  • Make certain the agent understands your age and living situation. Some companies will not allow the student to purchase the coverage and will require your parent or guardian to make the purchase for you.

Buying these policies is something you should take very seriously. The choice of what to cover, who to use to provide the coverage, and the value of the belongings you have are important and should never be made in haste.

Final Thoughts

Going away to college is an exciting time in your life. All of the new decisions you have to make, such as where to live and insurance policies can be confusing. If you would like to know more about the needs college students have for renters insurance visit for further information.

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