Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Find out what renters insurance covers and if it's a worthwhile expense for college students

Laura Adams, MBA
4-minute read
Episode #326

When I went off to college, the last thing my parents or I considered was renters insurance. But since then, I’ve learned the surprising amount of protection these inexpensive policies offer. In this episode I’ll tell you what renters insurance covers and whether students really need it..

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What Is Renters Insurance?

If you live in a rented apartment, condo, or house, your landlord’s insurance never covers your personal belongings. That means if something valuable is stolen or a fire destroys everything you own, it’s your responsibility, not your landlord’s.

Since the cost to replace your personal property could be much more than you can afford, having a renters policy is a smart way to protect your finances. 

A renters insurance policy typically gives you 3 types of coverage:

1.    Personal Property protects the value of your belongings from a covered event, such as damage from a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism.

2.    Liability protects you against a claim or lawsuit if a visitor gets injured on the property.

3.    Additional Living Expenses pays for temporary housing and meals if you can’t live in your rental while damage for a covered event is repaired.

Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Whether college students need the protections of renters insurance depends on where they live. A student who lives at home or in on-campus housing is covered under his or her parent’s renters or homeowners insurance.

Both renters and home policies usually have a cap on the amount of off-premises coverage. For instance, claims that a student makes on-campus could be limited to 10% of the parent’s coverage limit. In other words, if parents have $100,000 of coverage on their home, the student would be covered up to $10,000, after paying the deductible.

However, college students renting an off-campus apartment, condo, or house should have their own renters insurance policy. They aren’t eligible to get coverage from mom and dad’s renters or homeowners policy.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that students are too poor to have belongings to protect. Most students living off-campus have thousands of dollars worth of personal items, such as electronics, computers, furniture, bicycles, clothing, and textbooks that make buying renters insurance worthwhile.

So what does all this protection for renters cost? 


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.