Protect your assets with renter's insurance

By: Pamela Kellman

There are many things to consider upon moving away from home for the first time. For students beginning their independence , it is important to have a coverage plan in the case of damage incurred to rented property – including dormitory housing.

That’s right – even when living on campus, there are still measures that need to be taken to protect you from situations in which you, not the University, would be liable.

Renter’s insurance is an important thing to look into for those who are renting for the first time. Considering how expensive other types of insurance can run, renter’s insurance is very affordable and can help cover you for life’s surprises, such as leaving the pot on the stove and burning down your apartment.

“Renter’s is a very good idea and something that too many college students don’t even think about,” said Robert Kellman, a claims adjuster for Assurant Specialty Property. “Coverage for your contents – say for theft, fire, water damage, damage by vehicles, etc. – is obviously a great thing.”

In addition to content coverage, renter’s insurance provides liability insurance. Liability is what you are legally obligated to pay someone because of your negligence. The insurance you take out will indemnify and defend you, meaning your company will compensate for damages and provide council in the case that you would have to go to court.

Just how far does such coverage extend? If you’re like me and you’re thinking that you’re a decently cautious renter and that renter’s insurance would not be worth the extra money in addition to the rent you pay monthly, Kellman described a situation to demonstrate the expanse of coverage insurance can provide.

Kellman described a scenario in which a student and another person are out golfing. In the instance that the student accidentally hits the other golfer with his club, renter’s insurance can actually defend the student against any claim made by the other golfer against the student.

Weird, no? Yet, surprisingly helpful for a person who has a less-than-impressive proclivity to sport.

Renter’s policies generally run year-to-year and can be purchased for different increments of coverage, such as a coverage plan for contents up to $10,000, $25,000, etc. The renter’s insurance can be tailored to the renter’s needs.

While it’s important to consider renter’s insurance for off-campus housing, residents should take heed as well. Renter’s can also be beneficial for students who live in dormitory housing and sign a housing contract. While a parent’s homeowner’s policy most likely will cover a resident student, emancipated persons may need renter’s insurance to protect them in the case of an accident – or a fly-away golf club.

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