Things have changed over the years and today’s college students have more valuable personal property and expensive gadgets to worry about than ever before. That’s why renters insurance makes sense as an excellent way of protecting those belongings inexpensively. Thirty years ago, students didn’t concern themselves with electronic gadgetry. As a matter of fact, a portable typewriter or word processor, along with a small portable television brought from home, were just about the only items that ran a risk of disappearing.
So, you think you can live without renters insurance? Well, think about this for a second – living without your smart phone, laptop or tablet, gaming system, and your new high-definition TV, because someone broke into your off-campus apartment and stole all your stuff.
If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t make you right. Recent statistics show that only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance, compared with 95 percent of home owners. This is according to a 2014 Insurance Information Institute poll. Many college students are under the misconception that their stuff is covered by the apartment landlord’s insurance policy. That just isn’t the case. His policy will protect the building’s structure, not the renter’s personal property…in other words – your stuff. Residents of college dorms tend to come out a bit better since their personal belongings are typically covered under their parents’ homeowners policy — unless, of course, their parents are also renters or the student lives at home.
When you consider the average renters’ insurance premium in 2011 was $187 for the year, which is less than $4 per week…or, better yet, the cost of a latte at any of the popular coffee joints, you have to see the logic. On the other hand, imagine having to replace every one of your electronic gadgets at your expense as a result of a theft, fire or flood. Unless money is no object…you’d more than likely have to do without most, if not all of your newly lost possessions — reason enough to make you run out for a renters insurance quote.
Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that a renter’s insurance policy is the way to go. To help you get the right coverage, here’s what a good renters insurance policy should cover:
• Personal Property – your smart phone, laptop or tablet, gaming system, and your new high-definition TV. Not to mention your clothes, bike, and other items considered your personal property.
• Additional living expenses – reimbursement if you have to relocate because the loss or event makes your rental uninhabitable.
• Medical payments – payments if you or someone gets hurt in your room or apartment and they require medical attention.
• Personal liability – covers accidents for which you, as the renter, could be held responsible, whether in or away from your rental. This would include something like leaving your skateboard on the front welcome mat and a neighbor tripping over it.
A final note: According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments are 85% more likely to be victimized by a burglary than any other form of housing. In the end, the decision is up to you. Are you penny wise – or dollar foolish?
Do you have renters insurance? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.