Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make informed decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, such as American Express, but our reports and recommendations are always independent and objective. The conditions apply to the offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.
At the end of the summer, parents usually pack their college kids and head to dormitory or off-campus housing. There’s the usual checklist – towels, bedding, laptop, and laundry supplies. However, one element can be overlooked: tenant insurance.
Students living in university dormitories may be covered by their parents’ home insurance. However, students who live off campus should purchase tenant insurance to ensure their belongings are safe.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average renters’ insurance policy costs $ 180 per year, or about $ 15 per month. This is a relatively small amount to ensure that your assets are covered.
Do University Students Need Renter Insurance?
If you are live in a dorm, you probably don’t need it. University students living in dormitories may be covered by their parents’ home insurance policy. Mike Gulla of Hippo Insurance told Insider that some home insurance companies offer a âstudent living out of schoolâ endorsement, where you list your student’s dormitory on the policy.
If you are live off campus, you must take out tenant insurance. Although not required by your landlord, home insurance helps protect your belongings against theft, fire and water damage. It also protects you from personal liability if someone is injured in your rental. The question is not whether you need tenant insurance, but can you rather afford to lose your belongings and replace them yourself?
A cautionary tale from director and actress Issa Rae makes the case for tenant insurance. Shortly after college, she received a scholarship in New York. As the New York Times reports, “One night, thieves broke into his apartment and stole thousands of dollars in equipment, including his laptops, camera and all of his tapes.” If she had tenant insurance, she would have had her equipment replaced. Instead, it was a total loss, and she ended up leaving New York City and going home.
Tenant insurance does not cover roommates
Tenant insurance does not cover your roommate. If you have a roommate, each roommate should have their own policy. Tenant insurance only covers the insured policyholder. It does not extend to other people living in the apartment or house.
What if you have to move mid-year?
One component of tenant insurance is âloss of useâ. The deprivation of use allows the reimbursement of temporary accommodation when a covered event makes your rental accommodation habitable.
Yael Wissner-Levy, vice president of communications at Lemonade Insurance, told Insider that if a student is evacuated mid-year due to the pandemic, Lemonade allows you to stop and start your policy at any time, so that you can move your policy to a new address if necessary.
Wissner-Levy explained that for “loss of use” coverage to take effect, the evacuation will need to be officially declared by a “civil authority” – such as your state governor declaring an emergency or signing a ceasing executive order. everything about -campus living – so that your policy covers your accommodation elsewhere.
She added that this is “particularly relevant for international students studying abroad in the United States – or even just for students out of state – who might not have a family support system nearby and may -be in need of a short-term hotel stay “.
Renters’ insurance companies have different “loss of use” policies, so it is best to contact your provider. before assuming loss of use applies. If so, take detailed photos of the damage and also make sure to lock down and secure the premises.
What is tenant insurance?
Your landlord has insurance that covers the building and structure, but your property inside the rental unit is your responsibility.
Renters insurance is a type of home insurance, known as HO-4, that protects renters’ belongings against damage or theft. A tenant insurance policy has three components: personal property coverage, liability coverage and âloss of useâ coverage – if your rental becomes unliveable due to damage.
Renters insurance protects your personal property if it is damaged by a covered event called insurance risk. Common insurance risks include fire, smoke, theft and storms.
Basic personal effects are covered, but you may need additional coverage for specialty items such as high-end electronics, special jewelry, artwork, guns, bikes specialists and money in the event of theft. These items may require a âpersonal itemâ endorsement or an additional endorsement.
If you’re the campus DJ and have a huge collection of vinyl records or recording equipment, you’ll want to talk to your agent to make sure you have enough coverage.
If you have a pet, you should let your agent know if you have an exotic pet, large dog, or certain breeds to make sure you are covered. There may be limits to liability coverage if your pet attacks or bites a guest. If you fail to disclose breed or your pet is an exotic animal, Renters’ Insurance may deny your claim.
Wissner-Levy noted that as a tenant you are protected from anything that suddenly causes water damage without any previously known issues, such as accidental overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating systems. , air conditioning or sprinklers. You are also protected if the sprinklers in your apartment go off and soak all your belongings, or if your pipes freeze in the winter and burst.
15.99% -22.99% Variable
Good to Excellent
15.99% – 22.99% Variable
Good to Excellent
14.99% – 24.74% variable APR
Good to Excellent
How much does tenant insurance cost?
The average cost of tenant insurance is $ 15 per month. Some factors that go into determining your premium are the amount of coverage you want, where you live, whether you own a pet, and your credit score. If you already have
, you can get discounts by bundling your tenants and auto insurance with your provider.
Here is the average annual premium for renters insurance by state, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
How to find the best cheap rental insurance
Like auto insurance, renters insurance can vary widely from state to state. Where you live will play a big part in your quote and each business will look at this differently.
You’ll want to shop around and get quotes from several different insurers. Compare quotes and find the most types and limits of coverage. Then look for the lowest premiums that fit your budget. See Insider’s Picks for the Best Renters Insurance Companies.