Do college students really need apartment insurance coverage? And would it even be worth the money? Find out why your off-campus housing needs a little extra protection.
While many first-year college students live on-campus, a large number of students move to off-campus housing at some point over the next three years. It’s an exciting time, full of a lot of life “firsts:” your first time paying bills, first time living truly on your own, first time looking for apartment insurance coverage. Wait. What? “Nah, why do I need apartment insurance coverage,” you ask?
Stop reading for a minute and take a look around your apartment. Do a quick mental inventory of your belongings and think about how much it would cost to replace them. Chance are, even a few things add up quickly: your computer, textbooks, bike, television, stereo, clothes, shoes, and bed linens could be a pretty penny once you think about replacing them.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. With the right insurance, even if you had to replace all of that, you could potentially do so and only have to pay a small deductible. And, believe it or not, monthly payments on a renters insurance policy could cost less than a pizza from your favorite local shop. The hardest part may be figuring out what to look for and how to find the right coverage.
5 Common Questions
about apartment insurance coverage
1. Won’t my landlord’s insurance cover my apartment?
Your landlord’s insurance covers the building, but not your property. If, for instance, there’s a fight and Hulk throws Iron Man through your living room, your landlord’s insurance will cover replacing the broken window and fixing the walls, but you’re on your own to replace that large screen television.
2. Will my parents’ home insurance policy cover me?
If you aren’t living on campus, chances are you’ll need your own policy. Renters insurance is very similar to home insurance in that it can help you replace your belongings in the event of a fire or theft.
3. How much coverage do I need?
While there’s not a standard answer to this, there is a simple way to figure it out. To begin, take an inventory of everything in your apartment. Insurance coverage is based mainly on a dollar amount. So once you have a list of your belongings, determine how much it would cost to replace them. You don’t need a precise number right now; you’re just trying to get an idea. The average renters insurance policy covers between $25,000 and $30,000 in personal property and also includes personal liability coverage, medical payments (in case someone is injured in your apartment), and additional living expenses (which covers lodging and living expenses in case your home is destroyed by a fire, storm, or another disaster). You may find you need more or less coverage, depending on the value of your belongings.
4. How much will insurance cover?
There are two policy options to consider here: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost will cover you for the actual cost to replace an item. For example, if your ten-year-old stereo is ruined because your roommate left the window open during a thunderstorm, replacement cost would cover the actual cost to buy a new, comparable system. Actual cash value, on the other hand, would cover the current value of your stereo, so in this case, probably not very much. There are pros and cons to each, of course. Opting for actual cash value will lower the cost of your policy, and replacement cost will make it easier for you to replace items if something were to happen to them.
5. How much is this going to cost me?
The only way to get an accurate answer here is to contact an insurance agent. There are too many variables for there to be one standard answer. For instance, your deductible, which is the amount you pay before insurance coverage kicks in, can change the cost of your policy. A higher deductible will mean your policy is less expensive, but it also means you’ll have to come up with that amount of cash in the event of an emergency. A lower deductible will increase the cost of your policy, but it also leaves you without the worry of coming up with cash on the spot. As an example, if you have a $500 deductible and have an insurance claim for $1,200, your insurance company will pay $700 toward that claim. If you have a policy with no deductible, your insurance company will cover you for the full $1,200. No matter which way you slice it, though, the average renters insurance policy will cost you about the same as a trip to your favorite coffee shop.
To find out more about apartment insurance coverage, contact your local Pekin Insurance agent today for a free quote on renters insurance.