Why College Roommates Need Renters' Insurance
College season is back in full swing, and the dawn of a fresh semester brings new college roommates together for another year of friendly living together in apartments and off-campus housing.
When bonding together to rent accommodations, college students should know that they're responsible for damages to carpets, walls and floors from cigarette burns, spilled drinks, flooded sinks, back-up toilets and more. They're also liable for any stolen property during the time of residing together. Because of this, it makes sense to consider renters insurance in such living situations.
College students living in off-campus housing are ideal candidates for renters insurance. They often bring to college valuable personal items costing thousands of dollars, like digital televisions, mobile phones, pricey laptops, school textbooks, clothes, furniture and more. Protecting themselves with renters insurance can provide a measure of confidence if anything happens.
You can find helpful information at Kemper.com that will explain the costs and coverage of renters insurance. In most cases, renters insurance is a small monthly cost for most general types of personal property coverage. Here are some tips to remember when considering renters insurance.
Personal Property Coverage
For college students living in a rented apartment, house or condominium, they should know that landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover the students' personal property if stolen or damaged from fire, water or more. That's why it makes sense to have at least personal property insurance for their valuable items.
Group of Students
If there are two or more college students living together in an off-campus housing or apartment system, ask your insurance agent about getting a combined renters insurance policy. Some policies automatically extend coverage to a roommate in the apartment or condo who fits the definition of a domestic partner. That extends mainly to live-in boyfriends or girlfriends. Otherwise, each roommate should get their own separate coverage for their personal property.
Actual Cash Value Coverage
Students should know the difference between “actual cash value” (ACV) and “replacement cost” coverage when shopping for renters insurance. Actual cash-value coverage only reimburses a student for the cost of the personal property at the time of the claim, minus the deductible. For instance, if a student's 2-year-old iPhone 3 gets stolen, he would only be reimbursed for the phone's current value (around $140 online), rather than the original $400 or so.
Replacement cost coverage, conversely, would reimburse the iPhone 3 full value, but only AFTER the student buys a new one and submits a receipt. For some personal possessions, this type of replacement costs coverage makes more sense.
Living off campus with roommates is considered a rite of passage for most college students. Making sure to do it right with renters insurance is a rite of emerging adulthood.