One decision that you will need to make as you move off campus is whether or not you will choose to purchase renter’s insurance. Off-Campus Life recommends that all students who are renting off-campus housing, have a renter’s insurance policy.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
Renter’s insurance provides you, the tenant, coverage for loss or damages to property, etc. if there is an incident in your apartment or on the apartment property that leads to this damage. Many tenants believe their personal belongings are insured under their landlord’s policy and any injuries sustained in their rental unit will be the responsibility of the building’s owner. However, this is not the case. The apartment you live in is likely insured for structural damage, but this does not include insurance for your personal property such as furnishings, clothing, your car, etc.
Some companies offer a liability only option for coverage. What is Renters Liability Insurance? Personal liability coverage is part of a standard renters insurance policy. It may help cover legal expenses or the cost of non-auto-related damages to other people or their property if you are found legally responsible. If you purchase a liability only plan, your personal belongings are not going to be covered in cases of loss or damage. We strongly advise against purchasing this type of policy, as the cost different between this and full coverage is minimal.
Events Covered By Renter’s Insurance:
Below are some examples of events usually covered by renter’s insurance:
-The building catches on fire and your belongings are damaged.
-An electrical power surge damages your computer, TV, or stereo.
-Personal property is damaged, destroyed, or stolen. You accidentally damage another person’s property.
-Someone sustains an injury in your apartment.
Renter’s Insurance Providers:
Some landlords will require you to have a renter’s insurance policy of some type and to provide them with proof of this policy prior to lease signing or taking possession of your apartment. If you are required to have this insurance or choose to have it, you will first want to check with your parents about any homeowner’s insurance policy they may have.
Sometimes dependent students are covered as if they had renter’s insurance under their parent’s homeowner’s insurance policies. If this is the case, you will not need to purchase an independent renter’s insurance policy. If not, however, you’ll need to find a policy and will want to compare rates and coverage. Also, before purchasing a policy, you’ll need to have a good estimate of the total value of the items/ personal property that you want to insure.
Renter’s insurance rates typically start around $100-$120 a year depending on coverage options. Call an agent to find out about different coverage options. Here are some options of renter’s insurance providers in the Harrisonburg area:
- Geico Insurance (540)-568-1844
- LD&B Insurance and Financial Services (540)-433-2796
- Blue Ridge Insurance Services (540)-437-9030
- Allstate Insurance (540)-434-3950
- State Farm (540)-433-1916
- Farmer’s Insurance (540)-438-5862
- Nationwide Insurance (540)-434-8388
*When purchasing a renter’s insurance policy, make sure you always get a copy of the Evidence of Property Insurance and that you provide your landlord with a copy as well.*