The Importance of Renter's Insurance

A while back, when I was living in an apartment complex in southern California, one of the residents ran to the store without realizing that his BBQ coals were still hot. A fire ignited on his patio and quickly spread. The fire department responded immediately and knocked it down, but the smoke and water damage destroyed almost everything in the surrounding units. From my own apartment, I could hear one of these neighbors sobbing. She had lost everything, through no fault of her own, and didn’t have any renter’s insurance to help her pick up the pieces.

That was one of those galvanizing moments when I swore I would always carry renter’s insurance.

You should, too. has some great advice.

Some people mistakenly assume that a landlord’s home insurance policy includes coverage for your personal property. In most cases, this is not true. Chances are, your landlord’s policy does not cover your personal possessions.

College Students

College Student Living in a Dorm

Many home or renters policies limit your coverage as a college student to 10% of your parent’s personal property coverage. To give you an example of how this might work, if your parents have $100,000 of personal property coverage, as an eligible college student you could receive 10% ($10,000) of coverage for your possessions. The exact percentage you’re eligible for varies from policy to policy, so be sure to verify with your parents before you assume you’re covered.

College Student Living Off Campus

If you rent a house or apartment off campus, get your own policy. The best thing to do is start with a free quote and go from there. As a college student, you might not think your belongings have a lot of value, but just the cost of your computer, cell phone, books, and clothes can quickly add up.