Does My College Student Need Renters Insurance?

Daniel Crichlow
Written on August 4, 2020

Seeing your child go off to college can be a hard experience, especially if this is your oldest child. Seeing them drive off or walk up to their freshman dorm brings back a flood of memories. This should be a time to enjoy good memories and look forward to future memories, not to be worried about if your child needs their own insurance. So, let us help you figure out insurance, so you can focus on enjoying your time with your family. We will look at if your own policy can provide coverage, when your child needs to get their own policy and what coverages should be added.

1. Does your policy provide coverage for your child while they are at college?

The short answer, maybe. Don’t you love it when technical answers start off with a, “maybe”? In this case, several factors play into if your policy would provide coverage.

  • Is your child going to return home for summer? If they are, most policies would extend both property and liability coverage while they are away at college. If their plan to either stay at college for the summer or to find their own place to live, coverage would most likely not apply.
  • Where are they living at college? If they are in a dorm and plan to return home, again, most policies should extend coverage. If they plan to rent a house, or an apartment, many landlords will require you to add them as an additional named insured. That could be difficult to do on your policy. Some may allow for it, but the majority of policies will not want to add an additional insured for a secondary rented premises. If they are renting their own home or condo at college, they will most likely need to get their own renters policy.

2. What coverages should you add when getting a renter’s policy for your college student?

Once you have decided that getting a renter’s policy for your college student is the right decision, there a few coverage’s you should make sure they have.

  • Liability. Make sure that at a minimum, they carry $500,000.
  • Replacement cost for contents. This ensures that if their belongings are damaged, they would get enough money to replace them with new items. Third, many college students like to add some flare to their rented abode, and often leave those upgrades when they move out. If this is the case for your student, they should have betterment and improvements on their policy to provide reimbursement for those items they cannot take with them.
  • Medical. Make sure the add medical payments coverage of $5,000-$10,000. This coverage pays without regard to fault if someone is injured, and can help keep your student out of court.

If you are not sure how your policy would respond to your student moving away, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for advice!