New College Students: Should You Get Renter’s Insurance?

college students

It’s your freshman year. Your first instinct may not be to jump on the idea of getting insurance for all the possessions you brought to college. But your laptop, cell phone and other expensive devices, including textbooks, may be worth protecting under a renter’s insurance policy.

A survey done this month for InsuranceQuote.com found that 12% of Americans age 18-29 do not have renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance may be a foreign concept to most young adults because they may still live at home with their parents, but it may be a necessity when it comes to protecting your assets.

60% of young adults 18-29 said in the same study that they were confident they could handle the financial impact of various mishaps, such as the theft of their belongings.

Most policies allow a student who is living in on-campus housing to be covered under their parents’ homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. However, some policies may limit coverage for student’s belongings to 10% of the total coverage provided by the parents’ policy. For example, if your parents’ policy has $100,000 of personal-possessions insurance for their main home, only $10,000 would apply to items in your dorm room. Depending on the value of your possessions, you may want to consider extra coverage from renter’s insurance.

Other options include leaving expensive items such as jewelry at home or in a safe deposit box. Some polices provide just $1,000 coverage for jewelry.

If you live off-campus in an apartment or house, your parents’ coverage probably won’t apply to you. If this is you, you will need to buy a separate policy. Some apartment complex’s/landlords may actually require it!

For more answers to your renter’s insurance questions, visit NYTimes.com