Renters Insurance for Students: What to Consider

By Aidan Cannon on January 10, 2024

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

As college students begin moving into their apartments and homes at the beginning of the school year, there’s one thing they should remember to buy: renters insurance. Renters insurance is a policy you can take out that will help protect yourself and your belongings if something happens to them while you’re living at a property. For example, if your apartment is broken into and someone steals your television and computer, your insurance can help you replace them, either completely or at a reduced cost. Your policy can also help if belongings break, helping to get you new ones so you can continue to focus on the more important things in life. Getting renters insurance is always a smart idea, but sometimes it can be hard to find the right plan for you. Use this guide to determine what you need in your renter’s insurance policy.

Image from Pixabay.

What does renters insurance actually cover?

While it’s obvious that renters insurance helps protect your personal belongings, it actually serves a myriad of other functions as well. Should anything happen to the apartment or home you are living in, such as a natural disaster or some kind of repair, your insurance can help you pay for a hotel or other living arrangement for the time being. This is referred to as loss of use and comes into play when you are forced out of your residence by circumstances outside your control. Liability coverage also falls under the renters’ insurance umbrella. This protects you from having to face lawsuits by yourself and/or pay for damage caused to someone else’s belongings, particularly your landlord. Likewise, medical payments are included in renters insurance and can be used to cover hospital bills for anyone hurt in your rental. Now that we have a better understanding of all that renters insurance entails, how do we determine what plan is right for you?

Determine how you want your belongings to be replaced 

When your belongings are stolen or damaged, a renters insurance policy will generally feature one of two different reimbursement options: actual cash value or replacement cost. Actual cash value takes into consideration the condition of your belongings at the time of their destruction or theft and reimburses you enough to replace them with items of similar quality and condition. Replacement cost affords you the full amount of money it would take to buy a completely brand-new item, but of course, costs more than actual cash value as a result. If you have a lot of valuables in your rental that you wish to protect, it may be beneficial to spring for a replacement cost policy, but if you’re more concerned about money, the actual cash value will serve you just fine.

Customize your coverage to fit your needs

Once you’ve made some basic decisions concerning your insurance policy, it’s time to customize it. If you have any specific items that are incredibly important to you, you can add additional specialized coverage to protect them. These are called riders and can help if you need certain possessions to live or do your job. For example, if you’re a professional photographer and a thief breaks into your apartment, taking all your high-end photo equipment, a rider on those items could help you prevent serious financial strain and expediently replace them. Another matter to consider when fine-tuning your policy is that of your deductible. A lower deductible will result in higher premiums, whereas a higher deductible will produce the opposite. Consider how likely you will be to make a claim (are you very accident prone, do you live in a nice area, etc.) when deciding on your deductible to make the best financial decision for you.

Compare rates

The final part of securing renters insurance should be weighing your options. Take all your requests and preferences to a variety of insurance companies and get a quote from each. Often it can be easy to go to one company and get what you believe to be a fantastic quote, only to then realize you could have gotten even lower rates had you kept searching. Make sure to assess all your options so you can not only find a company that can fit all your specific needs but also the most competitive price.

Renters insurance provides a great opportunity for college students to learn about more aspects of the independent adult world. It may be the first time you’ve ever had to think about how insurance is paid and what it can cover. The important thing to remember is that although this may be a new step for you, it isn’t one that you need to take alone. Guides like this can help educate you on how renters insurance works and ultimately choose the right policy for your situation.

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Make sure your investment in higher education is protected with GradGuard. Our affordable tuition insurance and renters insurance plans are specifically designed for college students. Customizable plans make it easy to protect your tuition, room and board, laptop, bike, and so much more.

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