Heading off to college can be a massive life adjustment – new school, new place, new people – all while trying to emerge into adulthood. Most students enter school with the idea to live in the dorm during the first year (mandatory for most colleges nowadays) and then move into an apartment near campus after that. Most college kids are ecstatic about the idea of living on their own like a real grown-up, without realizing what responsibilities it will entail. Most college-age kids are unaware of the need for renter's insurance. If this sounds like you, continue reading to answer questions like "What is renter's insurance?", "Why do I need renter's insurance?", and "What is covered under renter's insurance?"
The best thing about getting renter's insurance is that it's relatively inexpensive. Some policies only cost pennies per day, making it well worth the small investment. As a student, you're probably not looking to burn a big hole into your wallet, but renter's insurance doesn't do that thanks to being so low cost. There are different plans and policies to best suit your needs, but many basic plans average only $10 to $15 a month – the same cost as a Netflix subscription. Sure, watching The Office for the 5th time is fun, but even that can't compare to the security and peace of mind knowing you and your belongings are covered and accounted for if a disaster were to strike.
Protect Your Stuff
Desktop computers, laptops, iPads – students these days have their pick of the litter when it comes to what technology and electronic equipment they want to use during their college years. However, all of these technologies are expensive and ripe for theft. And while I know I always like to assume the best in people, theft, unfortunately, does commonly happen, especially to college students. Not to mention the theft of any money or other valuables you may store in your home (T.V.s, jewelry, gaming consoles, etc.). With renter's insurance, all of your personal property can be covered in the event of loss or damages out of your control. Policies not only cover instances like theft, but also in cases of power surges, water damage, fires and lightning, explosions, smoke, damage caused from vehicles or aircraft, falling objects, hail and wind damage, riots and civil commotions, and vandalism. Most renter's insurance policies also cover ice, snow, and sleet damages. Some even cover damages in the event of a volcanic eruption, which may or may not be applicable, depending on where you live (we don't have to worry too much about volcanoes here in East Texas).
It May Be Required
Many landlords may require renter's insurance from all of his or her tenants. While your landlord will surely carry insurance as a homeowner or landlord, this only covers the home and other structures but does not protect tenants' belongings. Because tenants' belongings are not protected under a landlord's policy, a growing number of landlords now require their tenants to purchase their own renter's insurance policies, with documentation or verification as proof. This is so the landlord doesn't become the sole responsible party for a tenant's belongings in the event of damages.
Not only do you need to protect all of your belongings, but the first priority is also that you protect yourself. Fortunately, liability coverage is included in most standard rental insurance policies. Two types of liabilities will usually be covered – bodily injury and property damages. These provide protection in the event that someone is injured or property is damaged due to negligence. A few examples of this would be if your sweet Fido got loose and bit the neighbor's child who now needs stitches, or if you accidentally left the sink running as you hurriedly ran out to a class, and the water ended up flooding into your neighbour's apartment. With renter's insurance, your policy will usually cover the damages and the costs to repair them. Remember, liability coverage is for negligible accidents, so you will not be covered if you intentionally cause damage to any other person or property.
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
When it comes to living in your own place – whether rented or purchased – it's best to live with the motto, "high hopes, low expectations." Not to sound like a total pessimist, but this may be a good way of thinking when you've finally moved out of mom and dad's house and are trying to care for a home of your own. Sure, we all hope things will go smoothly, with no damages or hiccups en route. But, as adult life quickly teaches all of us, accidents do happen and damages can result. Fortunately, with renter's insurance being so low cost (affordable for even a broke college student), it's an easy way to grant a bit of security and to be prepared if something does go wrong. It's always best to be safe rather than sorry.
There is a myriad of ways to ensure yourself a safe, comfortable place to live. Renter's insurance can offer you that safety and protection, allowing you to live comfortably with peace of mind for yourself and your belongings. To learn more about what renter's insurance can offer and which policy is right for you, visit us at Bosworth & Associates in Tyler, TX. To get started, why not request a quote from us on our website, or check out some of our other website blogs!