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Why college students need renter’s insurance

October 7, 2014
Linda Robertson Platinum Accounts Executive

Linda Robertson
Platinum Accounts Executive

“Can you send flip-flops, lotsa food, lotsa Cheez-Its (not kidding), and $$$?”

The 22-year-old’s requests still sounded like they were coming from a 15 year old, but one thing she did not need to ask for, because she was smart enough to already have it in place, was a super affordable, super powerful, comprehensive renter’s insurance policy.

A stark lesson for college students and those of us of any age who are renting a home: Your landlord’s insurance policy covers his property, not yours. It’s not a lesson you want to learn after an observant thief watches you slip out for $2 Rolling Rock night, especially when there’s such an easy way to protect yourself (and even your roommate.)

Renter’s insurance works like homeowner’s insurance in that it covers your personal property — the Xbox, the iPad, the Ikea double (or the Pottery Barn king for some fortunate sons), and everything in between. Hazards like fire, trees felled by storms, explosions, smoke damage, plumbing disasters, even vandalism, are covered events, and of course you’re protected against theft, not only at home but virtually anywhere.

In between apartments with your stuff stored at Steve’s Sorta Secure Stow-It & Save? If it turns out they weren’t kidding about the “Sorta” part, don’t worry. The core of renter’s insurance is what’s called “contents coverage,” which means it will cover losses, even when your stuff is not at home.

Along with Cheez-Its and cold hard cash, renter’s insurance is an ideal — if less consumable — part of a quality care package. [TWEET THIS]

But renter’s insurance is not just for poor college students starting out on their own. In fact, renter’s insurance is even more valuable for renters who’ve had time to amass special items such as jewelry, silverware, fine art, and musical instruments. Just as with a rider on a homeowner’s policy, all of these valuable items can be covered as part of a renter’s policy.


In our litigious society, when accidents happen, people often get sued…even if they don’t own real estate. A good renter’s insurance policy will include personal liability coverage that can be surprisingly broad, kicking in when Bubba the Basset Hound gets a little too rough at the dog park, for example.

It also provides protection when bad things happen to you. When your upstairs neighbor’s washing machine floods your place, renter’s insurance will help you with hotel bills. Debit card stolen? It can help handle that mess, too.

Your roommate brought the (brown leather) couch and you brought the (orange twill) love seat? No worries. Most policies will cover your roommates stuff, too, allowing you to stay fully furnished if things go up in flames.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics show that renters experience higher rates of property crime, theft and burglary than owners. Nonetheless, nearly two-thirds of renters are not protected by a policy.

And there’s just no excuse for that.

Renter’s insurance is the ramen noodle on the risk management menu: surprisingly effective and virtually anyone can afford it. [TWEET THIS]

Don’t send your college student away without it.


Linda Robertson


Platinum Accounts Executive

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