Does My College Student Need Renters Insurance?

by : Jim Waltrip

Sending your child off to college is a time full of wonderand questions. In addition to all the normal questionssuch as, "How am I going to pay for all this?" you may be wondering whether your college student's possessions are covered by your homeowners insurance or if purchasing renter's insurance makes sense.

Everyone knows that as students move into dorm rooms and apartments for the school year, they also take with them their clothing and sports equipment, as well as cell phones, IPods and MP3 players, TVs and computers. Unfortunately, thieves know this as well, making students highly vulnerable, leaving one out of 10 college students a victim of theft. Knowing this, what's the best way to make sure your child's possessions are protected?

Most students will be covered under their parents' homeowners' insurance policy, although in some instances it will be necessary to purchase renter's insurance as well. To determine the best fit for your needs, you'll need to conduct an inventory of what your student is planning on bringing to college.

After compiling your list, go over your insurance plan and talk with your agent to determine what items are covered in the event of theft or disaster under your home contents insurance policy and if the value of these items exceeds the coverage limit, sometimes called a threshold amount. For items of exceptional value, it would be advisable to create a separate endorsement on your policy. After creating your list, you'll want to be sure to update it every year as you renew your policy with the new items you or your child have purchased. Keep in mind that some homeowner's policies limit the amount of coverage provided for college students. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports certain policies restrict a student's coverage to only 10 percent of the parent's home coverage or $1,000whichever is greater.

Where your college student lives also makes a difference when it comes to having the right policy protection. Tell your insurance agent whether your student will be living on campus in the dormitory, or off-campus. Sometimes students who live off-campus are not covered under their parents' homeowners policy, so additional renter's insurance is necessary.

Students will find that with renter's insurance comes a greater peace of mind for a variety of reasons. Renter's insurance covers not just theft, but additional coverage if the landlord's fire insurance or flood insurance doesn't cover their personal property. Also, your student is covered in case someone is injured while on the premises. Further benefits for students buying renter's insurance now includes developing a history of maintaining property insurance before making that first home purchase, which means potentially qualifying for reduced rates on their own homeowner's policy.

Also, renter's insurance policies have kept up with the times. In TexasArticle Search, renter's insurance offers protection against identity theftan especially valuable protection considering how easily a stolen social security number or credit card statement can lead to ruining someone's credit line.