Do I Really Need Renter’s Insurance?
Think about all of valuable items that you will be bringing to your new home away from home; such as, a laptop, tablet, smartphone, TV or gaming system, etc. What would happen if they were lost, stolen or damaged?
The university is NOT responsible for personal liability or your personal property. Renters insurance protects a student’s personal property against loss or damage.
What Do I Need to Know about Renter’s Insurance
Most renters insurance policies provide two basic types of coverage: personal property and liability. Personal property coverage pays to repair or replace personal belongings if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. This is the most commonly purchased renter’s policy.
Liability insurance provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from bodily injury to others or property damage caused by an accident while on the policyholder’s property.
Unusually expensive items, such as fine jewelry, may require the renter to purchase additional coverage, called a “rider” or “floater.” Your insurance agent can help you determine if additional coverage is necessary.
Isn’t this covered if my family has Homeowner’s insurance or their own Renter’s Insurance?
You should check with your insurance provider to see if your things are covered while you are living away from home. Also look at the deductibles on the policy. Renter’s insurance may be cheaper.
Questions to Ask
It is important to find out what is included in each policy you consider. Things such as policy limits, coverage, deductibles and annual costs can vary company by company and policy by policy.
Things to consider:
- Make sure you know how much liability coverage is included.
- Is there is a limit on your contents coverage?
- What is considered a covered loss?
- What is NOT considered a covered loss?
When determining your deductible, consider what could be reasonably covered from loss versus your premiums. For most, having a higher deductible will result in lower premiums.
When you’re shopping for renters insurance, make sure you understand whether the policy offers “cash value” or “replacement cost” for claims. Here’s the difference:
Cash value coverage reimburses you for the value of personal belongings at the time of a claim. For example, if your 3-year-old TV was damaged or stolen, you would receive the value less depreciation. If the original cost was $1,000.00, you might only receive $500 minus the deductible.
Replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the full value of an item. So if you would have to pay $1,500.00 to buy that same TV today, that’s what you would receive, less the deductible.
Premiums for replacement coverage will be higher than for cash value, but can be worth it if you have to make a substantial claim. When a claim is reported, the insurance company will ask the policyholder for proof of purchase for all items reported on the claim. A comprehensive list of possessions, including purchase prices, model numbers and serial numbers, will suffice. It also is a good idea to take photos or video footage of any personal possessions for documentation, making sure the photos are stored in a secure, off-site location.
So What Now?
If you are interested in renter’s insurance, we recommend that you speak with your current auto, renter’s or homeowner’s insurer first. They may have this type of policy and can assist you. You also may look at major insurance carriers as they have renter’s insurance policies. Be sure to inform prospective carriers that the University has a full fire suppression system.
The Office of Residence Life is providing this information solely for informational purposes. We do not recommend or endorse any specific company for renter’s insurance.