College students may need renter's insurance

From laptops to cellphones, belongings can be costly to replace

SAN ANTONIO – Tuition, dining plans, books – the to-do list for heading off to college is lengthy. But one thing families may not think about until it’s too late is insurance coverage for their student’s possessions.

From laptops to cellphones, students can have a lot of belongings that would cause financial difficulty to replace if they are damaged, lost or stolen.

If your student is living in an on-campus dorm, check your own homeowner’s or renter’s policy. That policy typically covers a student living on campus.

However, as Consumer Reports points out, the coverage may have a 10 percent cap. So even though the parents’ belongings are covered for $50,000, a student’s would be covered for $5,000.

It’s best to check your policy or with your carrier to verify coverage at college.

For more valuable items, extra coverage may need to be purchased.   

Another option is dorm insurance. A $5,000 policy costs about $140 per year and the deductible is low.

For students who live off campus, though, experts recommend the student have a renter’s insurance policy. A policy typically costs less than $200 a year.

When buying a renter’s policy, shop around because premiums vary. And, experts advise students make a video inventory of their belongings just in case they need to be replaced.  

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