College is an exciting and challenging time for many young adults. If you’re headed off to college, chances are you’re busy thinking about your courses, your degree, or finding a place close to campus. If you are going to rent an apartment or room, one thing you should consider is getting renter’s insurance, as it can protect you against theft or disaster. Here are some tips on renter’s insurance for college students.
What Is Renter’s Insurance?
A surprising number of people don’t know what renter’s insurance is, which is why they don’t bother thinking about it. But if you live in a rented apartment, condo or house, the insurance your landlord has will not cover the loss or damage to your personal belongings. That means, if your place is broken into or a fire or other disaster destroys everything you own, it’s your problem, not your landlord’s.
The Top Three
Fortunately, there are many inexpensive types of renter’s insurance policies that you can get to protect yourself from financial loss. The first policy is personal property, which protects the value of your property from losses associated with natural disaster, theft, or vandalism. The second is liability, which protects you against a potential claim or lawsuit. You may be thinking, why would I need this type of policy? Who is going to sue me? However, if a visitor to your place is harmed or injured on your property, you could be held liable.
The last type of policy is additional living expenses, which pay for temporary housing and food if you’re unable to live in your rental property while it’s being repaired.
When to Get Renter’s Insurance
If you’re a college student living at home or in residence, you don’t need to get renter’s insurance, as you’ll be covered by your parent’s or institution’s insurance. However, if you’re going to live off-campus in a rental, you’ll definitely want to have your own renter’s insurance, especially if you’re living in a high-traffic neighborhood where the chances of break-ins or vandalism may be increased.
You might think that, as a student, you’re too poor to have belongings that are worth protecting, but most students have thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics, furniture, laptops and computers, bicycles, clothing, and even textbooks that require protection. What if your space cadet of a roommate leaves the toaster oven on and causes a fire? What if you have a party and things get vandalized? It’s better to be prepared for financial emergencies then to find yourself in a bind. With renter’s insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for living expenses and you won’t have to live without your laptop or television for very long. College is the time to focus on your studies, and student financial emergencies can be devastating to a person’s academic success. Stress about your schoolwork, not your finances.
Fortunately, renter’s insurance isn’t very expensive, and will typically cost less than $200 a year. Think of renter’s insurance as an investment in your future. As we all know, bad things happen sometimes, so protect yourself.
How to Find the Best Renter’s Insurance
If you’re shopping for renter’s insurance, the first thing you need to do is ask an insurance agent about how you can be covered and what the cost is. You’ll also want to ask your school, as many colleges and universities have agreements with insurance companies that give students a discounted rate. Finally, shop around. Get quotes from several different insurance firms, and choose the policy or policies that best works with your budget and lifestyle.
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