Best Dorm Renters Insurance for College Students: Have you ever experience a scenario wherein your stuff was stolen or damaged through something you had no control over? If yes, then you definitely understand how distressing it is. One of the satisfactory approaches to ease that distress is to get dorm renters insurance as a student.
Contrary to what you might think, renters insurance is an investment more than it is an expense. Renters insurance protects you from the loss or damage of your personal property, liability coverage if someone gets hurt in your home, or reimbursement if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril.
Your laptop, cameras, clothing, and even the cost to live at a hotel if your dorm room becomes physically damaged, can all be covered under your dorm renters insurance plan.
However, you can get dorm insurance from a variety of insurance companies. In this article, we have reviewed the best dorm renters insurance companies for college students to make your search for insurance and the buying process super easy.
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About Renters Insurance
Renters insurance, often called tenants insurance, is an insurance policy that provides some of the benefits of homeowners’ insurance but does not include coverage for the dwelling, or structure, with the exception of small alterations that a tenant makes to the structure.
It provides liability insurance and the tenant’s personal property is covered against named perils such as fire, theft, and vandalism.
It also pays expenses when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable. Due to renters’ insurance existing mainly to protect against losses to the tenant’s personal property and provide them with liability coverage but not to insure the actual dwelling, it is significantly less expensive than a homeowners’ policy.
The owner of the building is responsible for ensuring the dwelling itself but bears no responsibility for the tenant’s belongings.
Necessity of a Dorm Insurance as a Student
College is the first time many students move out of their parents’ house, whether to a dorm room or sharing an apartment with friends.
It’s also the first time that students really start to acquire their own possessions like computers, electronics, furniture, and more. Plus, college students typically don’t have a lot of spending cash — mom and dad help out with a lot.
As a result, it’s really important for college students to protect the small number of assets they have. Chances are, if a student gets their laptop stolen, it will cost at least $1,000 or more. And college students typically don’t have that kind of cash lying around.
In 2011 (the last year statistics are available), there were close to 10,000 burglaries and robberies on university campuses nationwide. And that was only what was reported on campus.
With roughly 14 million college students nationwide, the odds of you getting something stolen sometime during your four years of school is 0.3%, or 1-in-300. That’s important to keep in mind.
The bottom line is that you need college student renters insurance to protect yourself and your stuff. Renters insurance is actually a misnomer — the actual policy is personal property insurance. That means it covers your stuff anywhere.
Dorm Renters insurance also covers things like a regular policy: fire damage, vandalism, and more. Many college students think the landlord or university (if you’re living in a dorm) will pay for a loss if the building burns down or something happens.
That’s incorrect. Landlord insurance only covers the structure — renters are responsible for their own contents.
How to apply for Renters insurance
Applying for renters insurance is easy, and can take just a few minutes. The best way to do it is to go online because most companies have a free online process that will deliver a quote within seconds or minutes. Follow these steps to apply:
1. View your instant quote
First, you want to click any of the buttons below to start the quote process, you won’t need any personal information other than the address to get your quotes fast. Once you have your quotes and pick the coverage option that works best for you, it’s time to get covered.
2. Get your personal information together
You will need your name, address, and Social Security number. The online forms guide you through several questions to learn more about the rental you will be living in and what coverage you need.
3. Start your online application
Once you have all of your personal information together, your next step will be to start the application. This will be easy by just following the prompts after you complete your quote.
4. Know The Safety Features Of Your Rental
The application might ask about smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, and deadbolts. The best renters insurance will offer discounts for those features.
Sometimes, the intake form may also ask if you have pets, especially certain dog breeds. Overall the process can take less than five minutes.
5. Answer Your Questions Honestly
Be sure to answer every question, truthfully. If you do not, and something happens, the company may deny your claim. Even if they do not deny your claim, you still may be committing fraud.
6. Add Any Additional Interest
Some landlords may require you to add them as an additional interest; this will let them know if the policy has lapsed or when you have renewed your policy. Most companies can add this during the application process or immediately afterward.
7. Print Your Proof Of Insurance
Once your policy has been approved and paid for, simply print out your proof of insurance, and you’re covered.
What Does Dorm Insurance Cover?
Renter’s insurance is made up of 3 types of coverage:
1. Personal property:
Protects the value of your belongings against nearly every type of damage, even anywhere in the world, including most natural disasters.
Protects you against financial damages, if a guest does something with your belongings or if you injure a guest by accident, or if they injure themselves in your rental.
3. Additional living expenses:
Covers temporary meals/housing if you can’t live in your rental for awhile due to damage.
A common misconception is that your landlord (or education institution if you live in the dorms) is responsible for damages to your property.
In reality, they’re only responsible for damage to your apartment that wasn’t caused by you. For example, if your toilet floods through no fault of your own, that landlord is responsible.
But they aren’t responsible for the damage to your beautiful, soft bathroom rug because that’s your property.
This is mainly what renters insurance covers. In fact, some landlords require renters to get renter’s insurance.
Benefits Of Renters Insurance
Renters insurance’s most obvious benefit is the protection of your property. Depending on your policy, potentially all your property could be covered if something happens to it.
Like we said earlier, having a policy grants you access to more potential apartments/houses to rent. Other benefits include:
1. Medical expenses for guests:
Most renters insurance policies cover medical bills, usually up to $5,000, that a guest may incur if injured at your apartment.
2. Legal cost:
If the above guest sues you, the liability insurance can cover your legal costs.
3. Liability insurance:
Did your kid break your neighbor’s fancy antique? Renter’s insurance might cover that.
4. Rented and borrowed property:
Your policy can also cover property you borrow or rent from someone else.
Prices to Expect For Renters Insurance
The average cost of renters insurance in 2015 was $188 per year in the United States. Renters insurance costs are influenced a lot by where you live and considering the size of the U.S., this can vary widely.
Both your neighborhood and state will influence your rental insurance costs. Typical renter’s insurance costs are between $15 and $30 per month ($180 and $360 per year).
This is an estimate to give renters of apartments and homes an idea of the cost of renters insurance. Your individual.
Dorm renter’s insurance might be a couple bucks more, but prices are generally comparable.
Best Dorm Renters Insurance
These are our top 3 picks for the best renters insurance option. Each one is based on your own personal situation. These options might not be the best for everyone, especially if you can get a multi-policy discount with your current insurance company.
Lemonade is first on the list because of how easy it is to get renters insurance through them. You will enjoy features like:
- An app that allows you to apply for insurance and make claims
- Fast and easy response times
- The ability to input exactly what you own and Lemonade’s AI-based system will craft a personalized insurance plan based on that
- Renters insurance that starts for as low as $5
- The ability to donate to a charity of your choice if you have unclaimed money on your insurance plan.
2. Allstate Renters Insurance
Allstate’s renter’s insurance is best in value for those people looking to bundle this with their car insurance.
Rates start as low as $4 per month and they have an online application that is super easy to use.
Don’t want to use their online application? Allstate has agents in cities across the country who will help you get set up with an insurance plan quickly.
3. USAA Renters Insurance
If one of you or your parents currently are or have been part of the military, you might be able to get in on USAA’s great renter’s insurance rates. The nice thing about USAA’s plan is that it has expanded coverage that most other companies don’t carry.
The coverage under USAA’s insurance includes:
- Property protection
- Flood protection (this is usually an extra cost on other companies’ policies)
- Earthquake coverage
- Coverage for the replacement costs of items
- The ability to bring your renter’s insurance when you move
How to File a Renters Insurance Claim
Should something happen and your stuff is stolen or there is a fire, you’ll have to file a renters insurance claim.
This simply means you contact your insurance company (typically by phone, but many companies are moving to online claim forms), and tell them what happened. Your insurance company will then open an investigation and process your claim.
Note: They may ask for proof of your belongings, such as a laptop. That’s why it’s so important to keep records of your purchases — either by keeping a copy of the receipt or saving the transaction online. Also, storing photos of your belongings is a good practice if you don’t have receipts.
Depending on your insurance company and the nature of the claim, they will typically pay for losses within several days to several weeks. As such, it’s still a very good idea to have an emergency fund to help you get through the interim.
Renters insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your stuff when you rent. So if you’re planning to live in a dorm room in the coming academic year, it is highly recommended that you invest in a dorm renters insurance policy to protect you and your personal belongings.