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College students living off-campus should consider renters insurance

If you went to college 30 years ago, you might have brought a word processor or typewriter with you. 

Odds are that you watched television in a dorm lounge, or a group of you piled into the room of the one student who had a TV. Cordless phones were rare; cell phones didn’t exist. 

Times certainly have changed, and today’s college students arrive on campus with lots of expensive gadgets: smart phones, laptops, gaming systems. And, of course, high-definition TVs are common. 

In other words, students have valuable personal property that they wouldn’t or even couldn’t live without. Losing any of those possessions to theft, fire or flood, for instance, might cause a student more anxiety than a big test would. 

Dorm residents typically are covered under their parents’ homeowners insurance policies. But that’s not the case for students who live off campus. What’s more, the landlord’s insurance policy will protect only the building structure itself, not the renter’s property.

This is where a renters insurance policy comes into play. Yet, only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance, according to a 2014 Insurance Information Institute poll. This compared with 95 percent of homeowners who have homeowners insurance.

The average premium for renters insurance in 2011 was $187; that’s less than $4 per week, or about the cost of a couple of slices of pizza. 

A good renters insurance policy, according to, should cover:

  • Personal property;
  • Additional living expenses if the renter has to relocate because a loss makes the rental uninhabitable;
  • Medical payments;
  • Personal liability coverage for accidents for which the renter is held liable, whether in or away from the rental. 

If you have more questions or want a free renters insurance quote, contact your insurance agent or call AIS at 717-533-0252.  



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