Sunday, September 25, 2011

Renters Insurance Is Assurance for Students

This morning, firefighters from cities across Johnson County, Iowa battled a large fire affecting multiple buildings in downtown Iowa City. There were apartments on their upper floors of the impacted buildings.  In the TV interview, one of the displaced student tenants said ‘Thank God for renter’s insurance’. Hopefully, all the tenants were as wise as the student being interviewed.

College students renting an off-campus apartment or house should consider purchasing renters insurance to protect their personal property (i.e., computer, television, bicycle,  furniture, clothing) in the event that it is damaged, destroyed or stolen.

Even if a student is a dependent under the parent’s insurance, the student’s personal property, in many cases, is not covered if the student lives off campus.  Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that your propriety is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.

Premiums for renters insurance average between $15 and $30 per month depending on the location and size of the rental unit and the policyholder’s possessions. For the price of a few lattes, you could have thousands of dollars of insurance.  Unusually expensive items, such as fine jewelry or an art collection, may require the renter to purchase additional coverage, called a “rider” or “floater”. Your insurance agent can help you determine if additional coverage is necessary.

Another important factor to look for when shopping for renters insurance is “actual cash value” vs. “replacement cost” coverage. Actual cash-value coverage will reimburse you for the value of the personal property (it's garage-sale price) at the time of your claim. Replacement cost coverage, on the other hand, will reimburse the full value of the new item, after you purchase the new items and submit your receipts. While the up-front cost is greater, you are more likely to receive accurate compensation for your possessions.


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