Do I Need Renters Insurance for my Dorm?

A student sits on his bed with a laptop and book on his lap, more books beside him, a pen in his hand, and his phone to his ear, beside the words Dorm Renters Insurance

When you’re getting ready to go to college, you’ve got a lot to take care of. From shopping for college essentials to packing for the move to your new dorm, you’ve got a lot on your plate. One thing you won’t want to overlook, though, is making sure your belongings are protected with a renters insurance policy.

More than likely, you will be bringing along some important valuables when going away to college. The right renters insurance (or similar) policy can help protect those items in the event of theft or other type of damage. From there, you won’t be left footing the bill for replacements.

Check With Your Home Insurance Agent First

Before you purchase a renters insurance policy specifically to cover your college dorm room, check with your parents’ current home insurance agent to explore your options. In some cases, homeowners insurance policies can be extended to cover children when they’re living in an on-campus dwelling at college.

If their policy will extend to your dorm, the default coverage is 10% of the total loss coverage on your policy. This means if they have loss coverage of up to $100,000 on your home insurance policy, your belongings will be covered up to the value of $10,000. Even if your current home insurance policy doesn’t include an extension to your college dorm room, you may want to check and see if they’ll be willing to purchase a floater policy or endorsement to cover items like laptops, tablets, and other electronics while you’re away at school.

Benefits of Having Renters Insurance for a Dorm

If you don’t have the option of purchasing an endorsement or extending home insurance coverage to your dorm, then it may be time to explore renters insurance instead. Renters insurance policies can often be applied to on-campus housing and are typically not very expensive—often ranging between about $10 and $20 per month for basic coverage. These policies can protect you in the event that any of your covered belongings – such as a laptop or gaming system – are stolen or damaged.

What About Off-Campus Housing?

Dorms are a popular option among first-year college students, and some colleges even require that students live in dorms during their first year of attendance. For others, however, staying in an off-campus dwelling may make more financial and practical sense.

If you are looking into leasing an off-campus apartment, duplex, or other residence, it will be just as important that you carry renters insurance. This type of coverage should include liability coverage in addition to protection for personal belongings. In fact, many landlords and property managers will require proof of renters insurance before allowing you to sign a lease.

What to Look for in Renters Insurance

When you’re shopping around for renters insurance – either for an on-campus dorm or off-campus apartment – there are some important considerations to keep in mind. For starters, avoid wasting your hard-earned money by making sure your coverage is only enough to cover the objects that you actually take to college. Take careful inventory of the valuables you’re bringing to school and shop for a policy with that amount of coverage.

Be sure to select a deductible wisely as well. The higher the deductible, the more you will need to pay out-of-pocket if a claim is filed. On the other hand, a higher deductible will also result in lower monthly payments. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure the deductible on your renters insurance policy is one that you will be able to comfortably afford.

Finally, don’t wait until the last minute to secure renters insurance coverage. Most insurance carriers don’t need to know the exact address or dorm number where you will be staying in order to provide you with a quote and prepare your policy. From there, you can have it go into effect on the same day you move in. Waiting until the last minute to shop for renters insurance can add stress to an already frazzled time.

Overall, having some form of renters coverage is a good idea if you will be taking any valuables along with you to college. The right renters insurance policy can provide coverage for these belongings in addition to liability protection, which will give you added peace of mind. To find out more about renters insurance or to request your free insurance quote, contact our experienced and knowledgeable team at Schertz Insurance today.

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