Renters Insurance

John Parsons, Staff Reporter

Renters insurance can save students money by transferring the financial risk of loss or damage from the individual to the insurance company whether the person lives on- or off-campus.

“What risk are you willing to take?” Dixie Turman, insurance agent, said.

The cost of the insurance will depend on the amount of risk the person is willing to assume. A higher deductible will translate into a lower premium. The deductible is typically $500 or $1,000, Turman said.

The value of the individual’s property is another factor in determining the premium.

The insurance is divided into two parts. Liability covers a designated portion of the cost to repair or replace property the insured person damages. Obtain personal article coverage to protect your own property.

The insurance covers the individual’s property whether it is damaged, lost or stolen at home or somewhere else.

An additional value a person receives by having renters insurance is developing an insurance history. This turns into a loyalty discount and reduces the cost of insurance when the time comes to rent or buy a home.

Damaging someone’s property can result in future wages plus interest being garnished, according to Turman.

A court judgement can affect a person’s rental and job applications in addition to the moral and emotional toils.

 

“Residential Living and Learning (RLL) encourages all students to purchase renters insurance whether they live on-campus or off-campus,” Michael Stark, director, RLL said. “Renters insurance is not mandatory, and may be purchased from any source. Your off-campus landlord’s property insurance does not cover your personal property, and neither does the insurance carried by RLL. Renters insurance helps students replace or repair their belongings if they are stolen or damaged by a covered risk (typically fire, theft, burglary, water, earthquake and flood). Renters insurance also includes liability coverage, which may help prevent a student from paying out-of-pocket if they are found responsible for someone else’s injuries or accidental damage to their property (including the student’s landlord).

“Renters insurance is also a proactive measure to protect a student’s property and finances while living in a communal setting. In student housing, we’ve seen all kinds of pranks go badly and damage other students’ computers and clothing. In these instances, neither TAMUC nor RLL are responsible for placement. Restitution would come from the student who caused the damage, and most students take ownership for their mistakes. For some situations, however, it is not known who caused the damage. In those cases, renters insurance will typically cover the student’s property loss.”

On-campus residents do not pay a security deposit but any damages can be billed to the individual’s student account.

University police can be involved if the damage is done by a resident’s guest.

RLL has not taken anyone to court over damage that has occurred but that always remains an option.

Damage to university property, whether intentional or not, results in higher rates for everyone.

One unintentional incident on a July 4 cost over $60-thousand to remediate, Stark said.

“Compared to other types of insurance, renters insurance is fairly inexpensive and a good value for college students (can be around $5 per month). The average college student has around $5000 worth of property they bring to campus and rarely have that amount of money on hand to replace possessions. We all want financial stability, and insurance is one way to plan ahead,” Stark said.

Maintaining renters insurance “shows you are responsible,” Turman said. “I am accepting responsibility for this.”

Renters insurance provides a greater value than what the individual receives.