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Insurance Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance for College Students

Renters insurance can be a smart way to protect yourself (and your wallet) while living in a rental property. It can cover the costs of your belongings if they’re stolen, vandalized, or damaged, and it can also help pay medical bills if someone is injured on the property.

In many cases, landlords require renters insurance for college students and younger renters. If your landlord doesn’t ask that you secure insurance, you might still consider coverage. It can be an affordable way to protect yourself from loss.

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Do I need renters insurance as a college student living on campus?

Most colleges don’t require insurance for students living on campus, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. On-campus living has many risks, including the easy access dozens of other students may have to your belongings. Renters insurance can protect you if those belongings are stolen or damaged.

You might also consider dorm insurance, a similar insurance policy for college students. These policies cover common in-school valuables such as computers, smartphones, bikes, and cameras.

Before you purchase a policy, check your parents’ renters or homeowners insurance policy. If you’re still a dependent, their coverage may extend to you—even while you’re away from home. Just make sure you understand:

  • Any off-premises caps on coverage
  • The deductible you’d be responsible for
  • Whether liability is included
  • How much of your personal property is covered

You may still want to secure your own policy because the caps on coverage can be quite low when extended off-site from the covered home or building.

Do I need renters insurance if I’m a college student living off campus?

To start, ask your landlord whether they require renters insurance. Many landlords and property managers ask for a minimum amount of coverage to protect them from liability.

If they require it, check your parents’ policy first. There’s still a chance their home or renters insurance policy covers you—even when living off campus.

If their coverage doesn’t extend to you and you want to ensure you’re protected, consider a personal renters insurance policy for yourself. Tally up the worth of your belongings in the rental unit to find the minimum coverage you’ll want to apply for. Liability coverage is also important—especially if you plan to host parties or guests.

3 best renters insurance options for college students

Renters insurance policies can vary in cost and coverage. To ensure you’re getting the best fit for your budget and needs, compare several options. Below are some of the best renters insurance companies, giving you a solid starting point.

(All sample insurance quotes used an off-campus property near Texas A&M University, $20,000 in property coverage, $100,000 in liability, and a $500 deductible.)

Best for cheap coverage & fast signup: Lemonade

  • Sample quote: $6.95 per month
  • Sample deductibles: $250, $500, $1,000, or $2,500
  • A.M. Best rating: Not rated

Lemonade specializes in renters insurance and offers plans as low as $5 per month in some locations. The company also offers add-on coverage for more valuable belongings, such as art, musical instruments, and jewelry.

One of the biggest perks of Lemonade is its fast and easy application process. Thanks to artificial intelligence integrations, applying for and securing coverage takes just a few minutes.

  • Reimbursement type: Actual cash value
  • Sample maximum liability coverage: $500,000
  • Policy discounts: None available
  • Add-on coverages: Instruments, artwork, bicycles, cameras, jewelry, earthquake coverage

Best for comprehensive coverage: Nationwide

  • Sample quote: $19.29 per month
  • Sample deductibles: $500 – $10,000
  • A.M. Best rating: A+ (Superior)

Nationwide offers the most comprehensive coverage when it comes to renters insurance. Policies go up to $1 million in liability coverage, and you can choose from several add-ons, including coverage for earthquakes, water backups, and valuables. The company also offers several discounts. It’s one of the top-rated insurers with LendEDU and rating agencies including Moody’s and A.M. Best.

  • Reimbursement type: Actual cash value or replacement cost
  • Sample maximum liability coverage: $1 million
  • Policy discounts: Multi-policy, protective devices, claims-free periods
  • Add-on coverages: Earthquake, high-value items, extended theft, water backup

Best for discounts: Allstate

  • Sample quote: $24 per month
  • Sample deductibles: $250, $500, or $1,000
  • A.M. Best rating: A+ (Superior)

Allstate claims the most discounts for renters, offering premium reductions for safety devices, bundled policies, seniors, claims-free periods, and more. The company also offers replacement cost coverage at no extra cost—a rarity among insurers. Identity theft coverage is also available.

  • Reimbursement type: Replacement cost
  • Sample maximum liability coverage: $500,000
  • Policy discounts: Safety devices, bundled policies, autopay, claim-free periods, 55+
  • Add-on coverages: Identity theft, guest medical coverage

To compare additional options, check out our guide to the best renters insurance.

What does renters insurance cover for college students?

Renters insurance typically comes with three main types of coverage: property, liability, and loss-of-use. You can also choose add-on coverages depending on the type of belongings you own and your location.

Here’s how those coverages differ:

  • Property: Property coverage protects your personal belongings. If your possessions are stolen, damaged in a fire, or vandalized on-site, this coverage will help you repair or replace them.
  • Liability: Liability coverage exists in case someone is hurt on your property while you’re renting it. It protects you from liability and may pay for the injured person’s medical bills.
  • Loss-of-use: This one steps in if your rental unit is rendered uninhabitable—due to a flood, fire, or natural disaster, for example. It would pay for your living expenses until your property is ready for use again.

Some insurers let you add optional coverage for higher-value items, identity theft, water backup, earthquakes, equipment breakdowns, and more.

How much does student renters insurance cost?

The cost of renters insurance varies based on your location, the coverage you choose, and your deductible. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars to $30 monthly.

Lemonade, one of the insurers mentioned above, is often the lowest-cost option you’ll find and may be a good choice if you’re seeking the minimum amount of coverage your landlord requires.

Are roommates covered by renters insurance?

If you have roommates, you must be all on the same page about insurance. If one of you has a policy, all of you should have one. That could mean each getting a separate policy from the same insurer or different ones.

In some states, you and your roommates could also choose to be on the same renters insurance policy. However, this has several potential drawbacks.

For one, it could affect your premium. If your roommate has filed more claims than you or has more belongings, that would likely increase your costs for the policy. There may also be issues with payment (splitting bills can be difficult) or if one of you moves out before the policy term ends.

It’s most important that you are all covered. If just one of you is, only the covered resident is reimbursed if their belongings are damaged or something goes awry at the property.