Protect yourself and your belongings with tenant insurance – Kent Wired


Renters insurance is a way for students to protect their personal property and belongings while living in an apartment throughout their college years.

Renters insurance is a policy that anyone renting a house, condo, or apartment can have to protect their belongings in circumstances such as fire, flood, or theft. Landlords do not offer renters insurance to their tenants, which places the responsibility of insuring their own property in the hands of the tenant.

Chris Sestak, director attorney of Student Legal Services at Kent State University, said renters insurance not only covers personal property, but can also provide personal liability protection. Personal liability refers to the cause of another person’s injury or damage to the property rented by the tenant. There may be coverage as far as the renters insurance plan can cover.

“Most of the time, if the student doesn’t have insurance, the apartment’s insurance can pay for the damages, but that insurance company will sue whoever caused the damages,” Sestak said. “[The apartment’s insurance company] I want to make sure there is a source of liability that has money and drives another insurance policy.

Spencer Appell, a sophomore computer engineering student, lives in Kent Region in a nearby off-campus apartment complex where he has insured his belongings with tenants insurance.

Appell said he called his insurance company after consulting with trusted adults about the best insurance company and policy to follow.

Insurance companies like Progressive, American Family, and Nationwide all provide renter insurance. On the Student Legal Services “Tips for Renters” webpage, it says students should check with their parent’s insurer first.

A parents’ insurance provider can provide coverage for children who are temporarily living away from home. For Appell, this was the case for him, where he may have fallen under his parents’ policy to be covered for his belongings in his apartment.

“The more policies you have from one company, the cheaper your rates are,” Sestak said. “A good policy is through an existing policy you have with someone you trust.”

Once Appell received approval for his tenants’ insurance policy, he filed the appropriate paperwork with the apartment complex to prove he had insurance.

“I wanted to be covered for any damage to the property where I live,” Appell said.

When students seek to live in an off-campus apartment complex, such as the university Edge or Paloma, formerly known as Latitude, their websites provide information on obtaining renter’s insurance. Their websites also state that a tenant must purchase tenant’s insurance against flood or water damage, fire, or theft, otherwise their personal property will not be insured.

Renters should look ahead to see what will be included in a rental agreement and whether or not the place they are renting will include insurance in their contracts, Sestak said.

“Coverage for your personal effects is not included in your rental agreement,” the University Edge website said. “Tenants insurance is not mandatory but highly recommended.”

On Paloma’s website there is a brochure for residents interested in purchasing tenant insurance through PeakMade Real Estate, where it provides a feature to file a claim now, as well as general money information and the cover.

The Student Legal Services website said more expensive policies will pay to replace the renter’s belongings, while other policies may give the renter the cash value of an item at the time it was destroyed.

Student Legal Services is not allowed to choose or offer a plan to students, Sestak said.

“We can tell them what it is, why it matters, and the ramifications of having it in your lease,” he said.

NerdWallet is a personal finance company that said the national average monthly cost of renters insurance in 2022 is $15, according to their website. The average monthly cost to the state of Ohio in 2022 is $17, according to the website.

The more valuable his possessions, the more expensive a plan can be, Sestak said.

Avoid “shady” coverage options for renters insurance and find a plan from a company that’s “legitimate,” he said.

“Renters insurance is generally reasonably priced and can provide coverage for renters’ belongings and valuables,” Sestak said.

Anthony Zacharyasz is a journalist. Contact him at [email protected]


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