Renters Insurance


If you live on-campus in a dorm, your parents’ homeowner’s policy will likely still cover you, although they should check with their insurance agent to make sure that is the case. If you call an off-campus apartment home, you probably will not be covered by your parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy. Your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building, not your possessions.

In this case, you’ll need to think about protecting what you own if it is burned up, stolen or carried off by a tornado or flood. You should consider purchasing renter’s insurance to protect your personal belongings. Renter’s insurance also protects you for liability coverage in case someone is injured while on your property.
When you are deciding how much coverage to buy, there are a couple of terms you need to know—actual cash value and replacement cost. Say your five-year old TV is stolen from your apartment. An actual cash value policy would give you what a five-year-old TV is worth today. A replacement cost policy would give you the amount it takes to buy a new TV of the same kind and quality, after you purchase the new TV and submit your receipts. Premiums will be higher for replacement cost coverage.

The cost of renter’s insurance varies based on several:

  •  Building. Apartments in a structure that is new, fire-resistant, and equipped with safety features like smoke detectors and deadbolt locks get better rates.
  • Location. High-crime areas with a greater chance of theft will lead to higher premiums. Same thing with areas prone to natural disasters.
  • Amount of coverage and the amount of deductible you choose.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Some companies may allow roommates to purchase a policy together; some may not. Check with your insurance agent to determine what options are available.


Page last modified February 27, 2013