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College Checklist: Renters Insurance

Heading off to college can be overwhelming. Packing up your life possessions and moving them to a new location you will now call home for the next several years. With a new town, new friends, and classes starting soon, insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. Insurance has always been something your parents took care of. However, obtaining renters insurance should be on your list. 


Some apartment complexes or leasing agencies require their occupants have renter’s insurance before the leasing contract is complete. Information obtained from The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner recently released information urging college students to have renter’s insurance. 


Insurance Commissioner John F. King strongly recommends parents consider purchasing renters insurance for their children in college, because normally a landlord’s insurance policy will not cover a renter’s possessions. “Nearly every freshman college student is being sent off to school with electronics, which are vital in completing their degree. Making sure these possessions are covered in the event of theft or disaster can save a lot of valuable time, heartache, and money.” 


According to the National Center for Education Statistics about 42% of criminal incidents that occurred on college campuses in 2016 were burglaries. Besides purchasing renters insurance there a few things you can do to protect yourself in the event you become a victim of a burglary. 


First, make sure your home and vehicle are locked and all windows are secured. It is always a good idea to document all serial numbers on electronic devices and/or firearms. Some cities have ordinances that require pawn shops to report serial numbers to local law enforcement officials. If through the process they come up stolen, there is a better chance you will get your items returned to you if you can verify their corresponding serial numbers. 


It is never a good idea to leave valuable items out in the open visible to onlookers. Make sure your items are out of sight, and not tempting others to steal your property. We know you get excited about going on vacation but be careful who you are broadcasting that information to. For example, blasting your social media sights with a notification that you will be out of town is another invitation for a criminal to take advantage of your empty home. Do not broadcast on social media when you are out of town.


This next tip is one many forget about around the holidays. We all get into winter cleaning mode and want to toss out those empty boxes from all of your new gadgets. Be careful where you leave those empty boxes. For example, do not leave electronic boxes out on the curb for the trash, break the box down and conceal it so others do not know you’ve just purchased a very large, top of the line, television. 


According to the Insurance Information Institute the average cost for renters insurance is under $20 a month. There are also many things that could affect your rate.