When you live off campus, your landlord’s insurance usually only protects the building itself — not your personal belongings. If something unfortunate happens. Renters insurance helps you replace your personal electronics, computers, clothing, furniture, and other valuables. It also includes personal liability coverage, which can prevent you from paying out of pocket if you are found legally responsible for someone’s injuries or accidental damage to their property. For more information on renters insurance, check out this thorough guide.
As a tenant, you can take out a renters insurance policy for about $15 to $30 a month. These policies come in two basic forms:
- Actual cash-value policies cover the value of the item at the time of loss, taking depreciation into account.
- Replacement-value policies cover the cost of replacing the lost item with a new one. (Replacement-value policies cost more, though both types are subject to the coverage limits.)
Personal property insurance protects students against theft, damage and many other causes of loss to personal property that may occur while you are at school, home, or when studying abroad. Laptops, cell phones, textbooks, gaming stations,and other electronics are expensive to replace.
Ask the insurance agent about coverage limits, as well as whether you may benefit from additional coverage for certain valuables. Automobiles, motorcycles, or any other type of motorized land vehicles or other conveyances or their accessories (including car stereos, GPS devices, etc.); firearms or ammunition; pharmaceuticals; artwork; antiques and collectibles are not covered by personal property insurance.
Special provisions coverage for bicycles is limited to $500. Insured property in a personally-owned vehicle is covered, if the vehicle was locked at the time of theft and there are visible signs of forced entry into the vehicle. Insurance will cover items that are stolen or damaged in a fire, for example. However, insurance does not cover lost items,
If your parents carry a homeowner’s policy, check the terms and determine what their policy will cover while you are at school. Decide with your parents which type of renters insurance coverage is best for you. Read any policy carefully to find out exactly what is covered and the limits and deductibles that apply. If you need more coverage, ask whether it can be added at additional cost or at a later date.
Keep a Home Inventory
Hopefully your stuff stays safe and sound in your off campus home. Take inventory of possessions ahead of time in case you need to file a claim. Attach receipts and photos for each item in the inventory and store copies of the inventory at home and at school, in case one gets lost or destroyed.