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Articles / Campus Life / The College Renter's Guide: Why Renters Insurance Matters in Campus Housing

The College Renter's Guide: Why Renters Insurance Matters in Campus Housing

B Written by Brianna Bell | Aug. 30, 2023
Photo by Andrew Neel

College is an exciting journey filled with new experiences, newfound independence, and, often, shared housing arrangements. As you embark on this adventure, there are many things to consider, many you might not even know about. One essential yet often overlooked piece is renters insurance.

Misconceptions about renters insurance are widespread among college students, but understanding its importance, particularly in shared campus housing, is crucial. Some plans cost more than others and provide different levels of coverage. College students should know the truth about some of the risks they face living on or off campus and how renters insurance can help.

Top 4 Misconceptions with Student Housing and Renters Insurance

This guide addresses these misconceptions and explains why renters insurance matters during your college years.

Misconception #1: "My Landlord's Insurance Covers My Belongings"

It's a common belief that your landlord or university will have insurance to protect your personal belongings in the event of theft, damage, or other disasters. However, this is most likely not the case.

A landlord will typically only cover the structure of the building and any fixtures or appliances they own, and universities may not cover anything at all if you are at fault. Personal possessions, such as your laptop, phone, clothing, and furniture, are not included in this coverage.

Consider the following scenario: a fire breaks out in your apartment, damaging or destroying your personal items. Without renters insurance, the burden of replacing everything will fall on you, which can be thousands of dollars. Renters insurance, however, can help cover the cost of replacing your stuff if this happens.

Misconception #2: "I Don't Have That Much Stuff, So I Don't Need Insurance"

You might think you don't need renters insurance because you don't own valuable items like expensive jewelry or high-end electronics. However, the value of your belongings can add up quickly, even if they seem insignificant on their own. Your textbooks, clothes, and everyday essentials have value, and replacing them all at once can be expensive.

Also, renters insurance doesn't just cover theft or damage to your belongings in your apartment. It is often missed that renters insurance can protect your possessions outside your residence. If your laptop gets stolen at the library or your bike disappears from the campus rack, renters insurance can help you replace these items.

Misconception #3: "Renters Insurance Is Too Expensive for a College Student"

College life often comes with tight budgets and limited resources. It's understandable for students to be concerned about additional costs like renters insurance. However, the cost of renters insurance is often quite reasonable, especially compared to the potential financial burden of replacing your belongings.

When you compare the potential financial responsibility of replacing your belongings, renters insurance costs are minimal. On average, it can cost as little as $10 to $30 per month. With renters insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your personal belongings are protected. Plus, renters insurance covers you in more ways than one, with liability protection and much more.

Misconception #4: "My Roommate's Insurance Covers Both of Us"

When sharing a living space with roommates, it's not uncommon for misunderstandings to arise about insurance coverage. Some might assume that if one roommate has renters insurance, it automatically covers everyone in the apartment. This is another misconception that can lead to major problems and headaches in the future.

Renters insurance policies are typically meant to be individualized. If your roommate has renters insurance, it covers only their belongings, not yours. Encourage your roommates to consider renters insurance as well, so each of you has protection for your personal property.

The Importance of Renters Insurance in Shared Housing

Shared housing, such as residence halls or off-campus student apartments, is common for college students. These arrangements come with unique challenges and risks, making renters insurance even more vital. Here's why it's crucial:

1. Protection from Unforeseen Events

Life is unpredictable, and accidents can happen at any time. Unfortunately, fire, water damage, or theft are not uncommon on college campuses, which can leave you with significant losses if unprotected. Renters insurance can ensure you're financially protected when these unexpected events strike.

2. Liability Coverage

Renters insurance covers not only your personal belongings but also your liability. If you accidentally cause damage to someone else's property or if someone is injured in your apartment, your renters insurance can help cover the costs of legal expenses and medical bills. Also, if you are the cause of an accident that damages not only the building where you live but other people’s belongings, This is particularly important in shared housing, where accidents are more likely.

3. Peace of Mind

College life can be stressful, with exams, assignments, and other responsibilities piling up. Renters insurance provides peace of mind, knowing you have something to rely on to help you and your family if the worst happens. This peace of mind can help you focus on your studies and enjoy your college experience fully.

4. Rebuilding Your Life

If your apartment is damaged or your belongings are stolen, renters insurance can help you get back on your feet faster. It can cover the cost of replacing your items, allowing you to continue your studies and daily life without the added financial strain of replacing everything from scratch.

How to Get Renters Insurance

Getting GradGuard Renters Insurance is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Make a list of your belongings and estimate their value. Doing so will help determine the coverage you need so you are protected.
  2. Choose a Policy: Select a renters insurance policy that fits your needs and budget. Pay attention to coverage limits, deductibles, and any additional coverage options.
  3. Set Up Payment: Pay your monthly or annual premium to activate your coverage. Many insurance providers offer convenient online payment options.
  4. Understand Your Policy: Familiarize yourself with your renters insurance policy to know what is and isn't covered. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to speak to an insurance agent.
  5. Update Your Inventory: As you get new belongings or your circumstances change, update your inventory and coverage as needed. This includes the proper documentation and proof of ownership, like pictures or receipts.

In Conclusion

Renters insurance is crucial for college students, particularly when living in shared housing on or off campus. Don't let cost or coverage myths distract you from safeguarding your personal belongings and financial well-being. Renters insurance allows you to enjoy your college experience confidently while being prepared for the unexpected.

GradGuard is an excellent choice for college students due to its affordable insurance coverage tailored to their unique needs. It’s easy to see why with customizable coverage, low rates considering tight student budgets, a streamlined enrollment process, and the assurance of protection against unexpected expenses that could disrupt the college journey, such as theft or damage.

How GradGuard Supports Students

GradGuard is the leading provider of tuition and renters insurance for college students. With over one million members, the organization collaborates with more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide to offer affordable coverage tailored to individual needs.

Why GradGuard is the #1 Solution for College Students

Low Deductible: GradGuard’s standard deductible offer is $100 and only applies to personal property coverage.

No Credit Scoring: No credit score? No problem. Everyone on campus receives the same price, no matter your credit history.

Worldwide Personal Property Coverage: Your belongings, including rented property, can be protected from covered perils anywhere in the world!

Personal Liability Coverage: If your residence is damaged, GradGuard can help.



Written by


Brianna Bell

Brianna started at GradGuard in 2019 and is responsible for managing and creating digital content for members. She's dedicated to educating students about college life and how GradGuard can help protect their college experience. 

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