The academic year in the U.S. usually starts in late August or early September. The first semester, referred to as the Fall or Autumn semester, runs from early September to December. This obviously means that August is a big move-in month for college kids in the U.S. Because your child’s belongings may be at risk of damage and theft, you might consider purchasing renters insurance, especially if you intend to rent an off-campus apartment for them.

Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?

Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Fire Department responded to at least 4000 college fires annually, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Other perils that cause injuries and property damage in college residential buildings include, among others, mold, smoke, earthquakes, and accidents. That said, the answer to whether your college student needs renters insurance or not depends on factors such as area of residence and the size of your homeowners insurance coverage. This is because a parent’s or guardian’s home insurance policy can provide partial coverage for a college student’s living space, more so if the named student lives in a dorm, per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In other words, if your child lives in a dorm, you may either choose to buy for them a separate dorm insurance policy or increase the coverage limit on your home insurance policy. Whatever you choose, it may be prudent to ensure your child’s belongings are adequately protected.

Renters Insurance for College Students Living Off-campus

Considering the high risk involved, most home insurance policies do not cover students living in off-campus apartments, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). For instance, kids living off-campus are more likely to host parties, which may jeopardize their safety and that of their friends, increasing the insurer’s risk in the process. Even if the home insurance policy was to cover your kid’s apartment, there will be many limits on the coverage. This is because the insurance company considers your child’s belongings as “off-premises coverage,” which are only covered partially. With this in mind, you may want to consider purchasing a separate renters insurance policy for your college student for adequate coverage.

What Does Renters Insurance for College Students Cover?

A renters insurance policy typically covers theft and property damage from perils such as fire, vandalism, water backup, and certain natural disasters. It can also provide coverage for bodily injury, loss of use, and liability costs. For instance, if your kid accidentally injures someone else during a party in the rented apartment, they may be held liable for the damage caused. Thankfully, the renters insurance will most likely pay for the medical expenses and other liability costs depending on the nature of the injury and the size of the coverage. Take note that if your child owns high-value items such as jewelry, you may have to purchase another insurance policy since the renters policy may not cover jewelry. Additionally, it is important to understand how much coverage your student needs, since standard renters insurance policies have many limits as well as exclusions.

Renters insurance is considered a necessity by many parents with college kids who live off-campus. That said, protect your child’s belongings by purchasing the right college students’ renters insurance for peace of mind. At Tompkins Insurance Agencies, we can help you find reliable coverage. Contact us today to learn more!