College Fail: No Rental Insurance - Here's Why
Updated: Aug 24
It won't surprise you that I lived in a baseball house in college. I was on scholarship at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania for baseball. What may surprise you, however, is that I did not have renter's insurance for my living space and things. And - it could have been a major college fail.
There I was, all of a mature 18 years. I lived with several guys who were just as mature as I. While our space came furnished, like most college kids, we had filled it with a ton of our personal belongings to make it as home-like as possible. As baseball players we also had a ton of equipment we stored in the home. These were valuables, that if lost or damaged, would put us out, financially, a lot.
Also, again like many students, we liked to use our baseball house to entertain our buddies, and sometimes, those we may not have known as well joined us too. If we are being honest there were probably numerous times people packed our house like sardines. All that stuff - the baseball bats, gloves, and training equipment, not to mention our 1990-something technical devices that were anything but compact, was usually exposed.
Today, as a mature 40-something insurance guy, the thought of open-laying valuables decorating college students' living spaces makes me cringe.
It makes me worry.
It makes me want to lock everything up in multiple safes, or, I could plead with my clients who have kids in college to consider buying renter's insurance.
For less than 20 dollars a month students can get as much as 20-thousand dollars in coverage.
Not long ago, I handled a claim involving a client and her roommates who shared an off-campus apartment. These ladies threw a party and when it was over noticed several high ticket items missing including a digital camera worth more than seven thousand dollars.
They were devastated.
But, thankfully, this client-family had renter's insurance.
How did it work?
Following what was later reported as a break-in, the girls filed a claim for about nine-thousand dollars.
All they paid was a deductible of roughly $500.
Also - the deductible isn't taken from the client's wallet. It is paid out of the claim.
Renter's insurance is not usually optional. In a dormitory-style living space located on-campus insurance for the space is usually included. Most apartment complexes including student-living complexes such as those popular in college station, Texas, mandate that the tenant have renter's insurance. Often there's an option of purchasing your own independent policy or using what the complex offers. Typically the insurance that comes with a complex only covers the structure, not personal belongings or bodily harm.
And that has the potential to be risky.
As a parent, when I think about my own girls going off to college one day in the not-to-far future, I do worry about the risk of someone getting hurt in my daughter's apartment.
In addition, college students today go to school with a ton of expensive personal belongings. From ladies' designer bags, to cameras, to laptops, TVs and gaming systems - items add up fast. It would be tough to replace it all.
As an insurance agent the rule of thumb I share with clients is that if something or a collection of items is worth more than five-hundred dollars, get renter's
insurance. It simply makes sense.
And, like all insurance, the coverage offers peace of mind.
Also, if a student's car is broken into while at college and something is stolen, such as a laptop, that also ties into renter's insurance so it is under the personal claim.
Had I, Jaime Luna college student and baseball player, known all this some twenty plus years ago, I would have gladly traded the cost of a pizza each month for renter's insurance.
Just like our students.