Adulting 101: How to Get Renters Insurance for College Students
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- Renters insurance protects your personal property in case of a fire or other disaster.
- Off-campus students should consider protecting their assets with renters insurance.
- Shop around and compare costs and coverage before choosing an insurance policy.
- You may be able to bundle your renters insurance or receive renters' discounts.
Adulting requires you to plan for unfortunate events. Whether that means buying your own health insurance when you age out of your parents' plan or beginning a retirement savings account, planning is crucial to successful adulting. Insurance of any kind helps protect you financially when things go awry.
As a college student renting an apartment or house, you should consider purchasing renters insurance. Renters insurance protects tenants and their property in an unforeseen event, like a fire, by insuring your items.
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What Is Renters Insurance?
Although not all apartments or rental homes require you to purchase renters insurance, having renters insurance can help protect you and your belongings. There are typically three types of renters insurance: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.
Personal property renters insurance covers the cost of your personal items damaged in a fire or flood. Depending on your plan, personal property insurance may also cover items stolen in a theft. Liability renters insurance covers the cost of any guests' injuries in your rental. Additional living expenses insurance can help cover the cost of extra expenses like a hotel room if you can't stay in your residence.
Keep in mind that your renters insurance will only cover the cost of the amount you insured and requires you to pay a deductible, the amount your insurance doesn't cover. For example, if you have a $2,000 deductible and $6,000 worth of damage, you cover $2,000, and your insurance covers $4,000.
Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?
Whether or not you need renters insurance may depend on if you live on or off campus. If you live in a dorm, your parents' home insurance policy might cover you. Check your parents' policy. You can always purchase additional renters insurance. Some colleges even offer renters insurance to dorm students.
Once you live off campus, your parents' insurance plan doesn't cover you because you're considered a resident at your new address. Although you might think your items aren't worth enough to insure, expenses like laptops, furniture, and bikes can add up.
How Can a College Student Get Renters Insurance?
If you aren't covered under your parents' insurance, you should consider purchasing renters insurance. Think about the items you currently own. If you lost them all tomorrow, would you be financially capable of replacing them?
Determine How Much Renters Insurance You Need
You want to get enough coverage to take care of your property, but not too much so that you are paying more for insurance than you need. Check with your landlord or campus housing to see if they cover any damages and, if they do, how much.
Start by creating an inventory of all your personal items and their estimated worth. If you can't remember how much you paid for items, Google similar items to give you the best approximation. Include bulk items like the cost of all your clothes and shoes.
Also, consider whether or not you plan on making any larger purchases while you're renting the property and factor those costs into your total.
Research Different Renters Insurance Policies for College Students
Although the lowest monthly cost — or premium — might tempt you, there are several factors you want to consider when choosing a renters insurance policy. When examining your quotes, compare the monthly costs to the coverage and the deductible.
Typically, a lower premium will equal a higher deductible. Some people prefer lower monthly costs and a high deductible, while others may need to budget a higher monthly cost for a lower deductible. Investigate how easy making claims is and how quickly you will receive compensation.
See if You Can Bundle Insurance Policies
If you already have an insurance policy, like car insurance, check with your policyholder to see if they offer renters insurance. If so, they might offer a cheaper price for bundling insurances or having multiple policies.
You may also be able to bundle your renters insurance with your parents' policyholder if they already have homeowners or auto insurance.
Gather What You Need to Apply for Renters Insurance
Beyond a payment method, most renters insurance requires very little to apply. They'll most likely need your name, date of birth, and possibly your social security number. The insurance company will also ask you to provide the rental address and the number of people who reside there.
Get Multiple Renters Insurance Quotes
You should compare rates from multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best coverage for the most affordable price. Most companies provide free quotes online. Applying is generally quick and easy.
5 Best Renters Insurance Policies for College Students
The best renters insurance policy will depend on several factors, including where you're located, whether or not you can bundle policies, and if the insurance companies offer any discounts for college students.
The following five companies offer some of the lowest monthly rates for similar coverage:
With renters insurance policies as low as $5 a month, Lemonade is the most affordable option for college students. That $5 a month covers up to $10,000 in personal property, but there are options to cover more. Lemonade boasts quick and easy claims payouts.
Although you can lower your monthly cost depending on where you live or the coverage you select, the average Allstate renter pays about $16 a month in premiums. Those who bundle can save on their total policy prices. The price is as low as $4 a month for those who bundle with auto insurance.
For $13 a month, you can get a renters insurance policy that covers $20,000 in personal damages with Travelers. A standard deductible for this plan is $500. Travelers offers high deductible plans. You can also save money by bundling policies or installing a home security system.
4. State Farm
Renters insurance with State Farm can run lower than the national average. At about $11 a month, you can get insured for $20,000 of personal property insurance. State Farm also offers bundle pricing for auto and renters insurance, so your overall price could be lower.
Nationwide's average monthly cost for renters insurance is $20. Depending on where you live, which renters insurance policies you select, and how much you insure, your price could be lower. Nationwide also offers bundle pricing and several renters discounts.
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