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Renters insurance for college students
You may not know you need renters insurance, but you do
Did you know that one of the top five places (according to the FBI) to have your laptop or phone stolen is on college campuses? Insuring your belongings can potentially save you (or your parents) a lot of money in replacement costs. Good renters insurance for college students also helps protect your other possessions like household items, clothing, electronics, college books, sports gear, and more.
While you may not care about replacing your thrift store couch or takeout condiment collection, you may want to seriously consider getting affordable renters insurance to protect the things you do care about.
To save you research time, we answer the most common questions about renters insurance for college students and we have put together a list of the top insurance companies.
- What is renters insurance for college students?
- Do I need dorm or renters insurance?
- What does renters insurance cover?
- What does renters insurance NOT cover?
- How much renters insurance do I need?
- What companies offer renters insurance for college students?
- How much does renters insurance cost?
- Average cost of renters insurance by state
- How do I apply for renters insurance?
- How to file a renters insurance claim?
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance helps you replace stolen or damaged belongings due to theft, vandalism, fire, or water damage. Did your laptop mysteriously disappear from the library? Covered. Did your espresso machine walk out of your dorm room on its own? Also covered.
Renters insurance also includes liability (financial protection from lawsuits) and property damage coverage which we will discuss below.
Do I need dorm or renters insurance?
Off-campus students will need their own renters insurance policy. If you live in a dorm on-campus, you may be covered under your parent’s homeowners’ or renters insurance policy (as long as you’re listed as a dependent).
Make sure to ask your parents to officially add you and your address or request the extra coverage. And don’t forget to document your belongings so if something does happen you have proof of what you owned.
|Living on-campus||Living off-campus|
|• See if you are covered under your parent’s policy OR get dorm insurance||• Get your own renters insurance|
Dorm insurance policies are helpful when you don’t have coverage under your parents’ policy and you’re living on-campus in official university housing because it is designed primarily for personal property claims and they tend to have WAY smaller deductibles — generally under $100.
An added bonus, in addition to theft, they’ll typically cover the loss if you lose or break something. However, unlike renter’s insurance, dorm insurance doesn’t offer liability or medical payment coverage.
Renters insurance for college students who live off-campus is identical to renters insurance for non-students. This type of insurance provides personal property, liability, and property damage protection.
You’ll need to set a deductible, which is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket to cover any loss before the insurance company covers the rest of your claim.
Remember, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly rate, but you need to be able to pay the deductible if something happens. So don’t set a deductible higher than you can easily pay.
What does renters insurance cover?
Primarily renters insurance protects you in three ways. While policies vary, most insurance policies include these coverages:
- Personal property loss – This helps you replace stolen or damaged items. The great thing about property protection is that it covers your belongings wherever they are. For example, if your laptop gets stolen out of your car, you’d be covered. In addition, your policy will likely cover you if you damage someone else’s property inside or outside your home.
- Liability – When someone is hurt in your rental, liability coverage helps cover the medical costs and potential legal costs of the injured person. If you don’t have liability coverage, you could be directly responsible for any costs the injured person incurs, or they could even try to sue you!
- Property damage – This will cover damage to your apartment or apartment building that you may have caused.
“The important thing about renters insurance is not only insuring your
personal property but providing liability coverage. An example of a
liability claim might be a kitchen stove fire that causes damage not only to
your unit but to other renters. It might be a small fire or one that burns
down the entire structure. At any point, you would be held financially
responsible, and unless you have $100,000+ on hand to pay for damages, a simple
$10-$12 a month renters insurance policy will provide you that liability
protection.” — John Espenschied, Owner, Insurance Brokers Group
What does renters insurance NOT cover?
Most basic renters insurance policies do not cover flooding, or other major natural disasters unless you have an additional rider on your policy.
Additionally, most basic policies do not cover unusually expensive items like your beloved $5,000 guitar or e-bike. They may also have payout limits on electronics or jewelry. If you need extra protection, you can easily add additional coverages to your policy.
How much renters insurance do college students need?
As a general rule, you’ll probably want about $10,000 of coverage for personal property and $100,000 for personal liability. You can estimate how much coverage you need by making a list of your belongings and what their replacement cost would be.
Think electronics, clothes, jewelry, bicycles, cookware…anything you use in your daily life.
(While you’re at it, take pictures of all of these things and store the images online in case you ever have to file a claim). Save your receipts and user manuals for expensive items you purchase in case you need to prove ownership later.
Companies who offer renters insurance for college students
There are a lot of companies that offer renters insurance, so you won’t have a hard time finding a policy. It takes less than five minutes to apply for a quote online. Lemonade and Allstate offer some of the best renter insurance rates for college students. We also discovered that Assurant, which is partnered with Geico, covers roommates!
For more information about insurance companies, see our reviews for Best renters insurance companies.
How much does renters insurance cost?
You can expect to pay roughly $10-$20 per month for renters insurance. The average renters insurance cost in the U.S. is $168 per year or about $14 per month. With less coverage and a high deductible, you can get that number down.
Or if you bundle with your car insurance you might get a discount as well.
If you need additional coverage for expensive items or flood protection, your rate may go up. For more information about discounts, see 10 ways to lower your monthly premium.
Average renters insurance rates by state
Congrats UND and SDSU, you may have the lowest rates in the nation! Go fighting Hawks and Jackrabbits! Sorry, Ole Miss, Mississippi has some of the highest rates in the nation.
|State||Monthly premium||Annual premium|
|Alabama renters insurance||$20||$235|
|Alaska renters insurance||$14||$166|
|Arizona renters insurance||$15||$178|
|California renters insurance||$18||$212|
|Colorado renters insurance||$15||$182|
|Connecticut renters insurance||$13||$159|
|Delaware renters insurance||$16||$192|
|DC renters insurance||$13||$159|
|Florida renters insurance||$13||$158|
|Georgia renters insurance||$16||$188|
|Hawaii renters insurance||$15||$185|
|Idaho renters insurance||$13||$153|
|Illinois renters insurance||$14||$167|
|Indiana renters insurance||$15||$174|
|Iowa renters insurance||$12||$144|
|Kansas renters insurance||$14||$172|
|Kentucky renters insurance||$14||$168|
|Louisiana renters insurance||$20||$235|
|Maine renters insurance||$12||$149|
|Maryland renters insurance||$13||$161|
|Massachusetts renters insurance||$16||$194|
|Michigan renters insurance||$15||$182|
|Minnesota renters insurance||$12||$140|
|Mississippi renters insurance||$22||$258|
|Missouri renters insurance||$14||$173|
|Montana renters insurance||$12||$146|
|Nebraska renters insurance||$12||$143|
|Nevada renters insurance||$15||$178|
|New Hampshire renters insurance||$12||$149|
|New Jersey renters insurance||$14||$165|
|New Mexico renters insurance||$16||$187|
|New York renters insurance||$16||$194|
|North Carolina renters insurance||$13||$157|
|North Dakota renters insurance||$10||$120|
|Ohio renters insurance||$15||$175|
|Oklahoma renters insurance||$20||$236|
|Oregon renters insurance||$14||$163|
|Pennsylvania renters insurance||$13||$158|
|Rhode Island renters insurance||$15||$182|
|South Carolina renters insurance||$16||$188|
|South Dakota renters insurance||$10||$123|
|Tennessee renters insurance||$17||$199|
|Texas renters insurance||$19||$232|
|Utah renters insurance||$13||$151|
|Vermont renters insurance||$13||$155|
|Virginia renters insurance||$13||$152|
|Washington renters insurance||$14||$163|
|West Virginia renters insurance||$16||$188|
|Wisconsin renters insurance||$11||$134|
|Wyoming renters insurance||$12||$147|
|National average renters insurance||$14||$173|
Source: Insurance information institute
How do I apply for renters insurance?
It is easy to get a renters insurance quote online with most companies.
To request a quote you’ll need your full name, rental address, email address, birthday, the estimated value of your personal belongings, the security features of the building (such as alarms and security gates), and a list of possible add-ons you might need.
When you accept the quote and continue to purchase the insurance they will ask for your SSN and run your credit. Your quoted rate may be adjusted based on your credit.
How to file a renters insurance claim
Hopefully, you never need to file a claim. But if you do, act quickly. To get more info on the process and tips on how to get your claim approved without hassle, check out how to file a renters insurance claim.
Moving forward with renters insurance
Renters insurance may not be on the front of your mind when you are in college, but taking a few minutes to create a personal inventory and making sure you have basic coverage will help you push one college stressor aside.
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