Natasha Little: Renters Insurance for Students — A Tale of Wrong Assumptions

Natasha Little, associate marketing manager for specialty property lines, Allstate Insurance Company. Natasha Little, associate marketing manager for specialty property lines, Allstate Insurance Company.

It’s a familiar scene — parents dropping their children off to college at the campus dorm with the undergraduate excited about what campus life will bring and the parents concerned about what campus life will bring. Amongst the excitement and worry, many tend to push the concern of renter’s insurance to the wayside.

As many of us know, students who live on-campus are typically covered under their parent’s home insurance policy. When a student decides to live off campus, a common assumption is that the same coverage will carry over to the new place of residence. This assumption is oftentimes incorrect.

Once a student moves off campus, they will likely join the other 60 percent of renters that don’t have renter’s insurance, therefore leaving them unprotected. Unfortunately, many of these students remain unprotected due to misinformation. So what can you as an operator of student housing do to mitigate this risk and benefit not only the student, but your property as well?

First, inform students and their parents on what renters insurance may cover.  Renters insurance typically includes a few types of coverage:

  • Personal property protection, which helps protect their belongings in case of a covered loss.
  • Liability protection, which can help protect them financially in case someone is injured in their residence and files a lawsuit.
  • Increased living expenses, which helps cover the additional reasonable costs of staying somewhere else after a covered loss renders their residence uninhabitable.
  • Guest medical protection, which can help pay medical expenses for someone injured at their residence.

Common retorts from students uninterested in renters insurance include:

“Doesn't my landlord's insurance policy protect my stuff?”

  • A landlord may have an insurance policy that covers the building the student is residing in, but landlord insurance normally would not extend to the renter’s personal possessions. Furthermore, while some landlord insurance may help protect against limited damages caused by tenants, students could still be held liable for damages in certain circumstances like unit damage from a tenant leaving a lit candle unattended. A renters insurance policy helps protect their belongings and provides liability protection.

 I don't own much — why do I need renters insurance?”

  • Students might not think their possessions are worth that much, but when they consider replacing all of the electronics, clothing, furniture and appliances they own, the costs can quickly add up. If a student really wants to see how much their stuff is worth, send them over to What's Your Stuff Worth?, a quick, easy site that will give students an estimate on the value of their personal possessions.
  • Want to blow their minds even more? Suggest that they download the Allstate Digital Locker.  The Allstate Digital locker lets them keep a detailed visual inventory of their valuables and organize their personal property by categories. The information can then be saved, and everything downloads easily so the student can send it their insurance agent when needed.

“I’m not sure if I can afford renters insurance.”

  • Renters insurance is incredibly affordable! When combined with a standard auto policy, an average Allstate renters insurance policy can cost as little as $4 a month! That’s not even one small latte at Starbucks or the local coffee shop.

Renters insurance is a positive for both students and operators of student housing, alike. Parents and students will feel an additional peace of mind knowing that their possessions are covered. If anything is lost or stolen, they will have the resources to replace it AND still be able to comfortably pay rent.

Operators of student housing properties can relax knowing that if their tenant’s property is stolen or damaged, the student will be covered and their possessions will be replaced. This keeps disgruntled parents from knocking on the doors of the operating staff demanding the property make amends for a situation that is not theirs to cover. 

It is simple — protected renters are better renters. Now if we could only do something about student’s ramen-only diet…

Natasha Little is an associate marketing manager for specialty property lines at Allstate Insurance Company. For additional questions about Allstate Renter’s Insurance, feel free to contact Natasha at natasha.little@allstate.com

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