For the millions of college students living off-campus in apartments, back to school considerations should go beyond shopping for supplies and updating electronics to include renters insurance, says the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI).
According to the National Retail Foundation’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion this year. Spending for back to college alone is projected to be more than $900 for the average college student and their family.
“As back to school shopping kicks into full gear, parents and students are busy stocking up with items such as laptop computers, tablets, printers, mobile devices, bicycles, stereo equipment, televisions and hard to replace items that are worth protecting if destroyed by fire, lost or stolen,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. “As parents and students living in apartments think about issues such as transportation and safety, a simple renter’s insurance policy will give them peace of mind that personal possessions are covered and will be replaced should something happen.”
Many renters don’t think they need insurance and believe their landlord’s insurance will cover the replacement of their personal belongings. However, the landlord’s policy generally covers if there’s been structural damage to the home or apartment, not the personal belongings left inside. Additionally many people find that renter’s coverage is more affordable than they expected. Americans spend an average of $20 per week on coffee. However, the average renter’s insurance policy costs $240 per year, which is less than $5.00 per week.
“When a child moves away from home or goes off to college, it is easy to forget or not realize that there are important insurance questions associated with living on your own,” said Hackett. “It’s always good advice to read over your policy and have a conversation with your insurance agent or company to understand what is, and what is not covered. Although a renter’s policy will not replace lost homework, it will help replace personal items if something unexpected such as a theft or fire occurs.”
PCI has a variety of resources to help you learn more about renters insurance including an infographic and guide.