two college students sitting on the lawn on campus studying for class

Renters Insurance for Your College Student

Everyone knows that going to college is expensive, especially these days. Your college student needs many things when attending college: textbooks, new technology, not to mention the required tuition and fees from the institution itself. Now you’re hearing that you should invest in renters insurance for your college student, too. It is a great idea to invest in renters insurance for your college student, especially if they are living off-campus in a house or an apartment. It may just seem like yet another expense to add to the ever-growing list, but it could end up saving you money in the long run.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is pretty much what it sounds like: insurance that protects you and your belongings while renting a home/apartment. While each policy is different, renters insurance usually has 3 main areas of coverage: 

Personal Property

Just as you probably guessed from the name, the “personal property” part of renters insurance covers the possessions of the renter. For your college student, this could include anything they take to college with them: from clothes, to their laptop, to even their textbooks. It can protect these possessions from a variety of incidents, including smoke, vandalism, theft, and many natural disasters like hail, snow, wind, and lightning, and more. Not all policies have coverage for all of the incidents regarding personal property, though, so it is important to do research and talk to your agent about what kind of policy is the best for where you live. For example, a student living in Michigan would likely want coverage for incidents regarding snow, while a student in Florida would not really have to worry about that.

What is great about renters insurance is that, in most cases, renters insurance will protect your student’s possessions even when they are affected somewhere other than the unit being rented. For example, if your student accidentally leaves their new laptop in their car and it is stolen, renters insurance will still cover the loss (the amount of coverage depending on the policy). To make sure you invest in the right policy for you and your student, make sure you take stock of your personal property before investing to ensure the policy you choose has the right amount of coverage.


Liability coverage with renters insurance will help pay costs associated with guests in the rental unit. For example, liability coverage within renters insurance will protect your college student in the case that a guest in their rental unit is injured. Liability coverage will also help your college student in the case that an incident from their own unit affects their neighbors’. For example, if a fire breaks out in your student’s apartment and it spreads into the apartment next door, the neighbor may want to sue. Liability coverage from renters insurance will help cover some of the legal fees. 

Additional Living Expenses

Sometimes, in the event of an incident with extensive damage to the apartment, (like a fire), your student may have to temporarily move out of their unit while repairs are made. In this case, renters insurance policies usually cover additional living expenses. These expenses usually include hotel fees, and sometimes even covers food and laundry expenses.

Does My College Student Need Renters Insurance?

When your child goes off to college, they have many important decisions to make, from which major they choose to whether or not they should be involved in Greek life. A very important decision they must make is whether to live on campus or off campus. Depending on what your college student decides about their living situation, their insurance needs may change. Now that we are coming into the spring semester, your student has probably already made their decision about living arrangements for this year. But, it is never too late to think about renter’s insurance for this year, nor is it ever too early to start considering coverage for their living situation for next year. 

If your student decides to live in an off-campus rental unit, like a house or an apartment, some landlords require their tenants to have some form of renters insurance. Even if they don’t, though, it is highly recommended that you invest in renters insurance for your college students rental unit. Your child may be incredibly responsible, but accidents happen, and it is best to be prepared for anything. 

two college students excited about moving into their new dorm room

Even if your child decides to stay in the dorms on campus, it would still be wise to look into renters coverage. When it comes to your college students staying in on-campus housing, there may be some coverage included in your homeowners insurance; this coverage is called “off premises coverage.” However, it is always good to check with your insurance agent before assuming that this coverage is available to you. 

This coverage, though, is usually only a percentage of the actual homeowners policy. The deductibles for homeowners insurance, too, are usually higher than renters insurance. So, things that would normally be covered for college students through renters insurance might not be covered under your homeowners policy. For example, if your homeowners insurance policy has a $1000 deductible, your student’s $800 smartphone or textbooks wouldn’t be covered. Renters insurance will usually have a much lower deductible, and will cover a higher percentage of costs. So, it might be a good idea to look into renters insurance for your student living on campus, too, to ensure you’re getting the best coverage.

Call Dickey McCay Insurance Today

When your child goes off to college, you will have many things to worry about; don’t let your student’s renters insurance be one of those things. Call Dickey McCay Insurance to discuss your options today, from going over your homeowner policy for rental coverage to investing in renter insurance for your college student. Our team of professionals is happy to assist you in making your decision, and to keep you prepared for the worst.