As a lessee, you have probably invested more in personal property than you realize. Fires, theft, and floods, especially caused by plumbing failures, can cause you serious financial difficulties. Renter's Insurance can provide protection against these tragedies and give you peace of mind at the same time. Students who maintain legal residence with their parents may be covered by their family's homeowners' policy. In many cases, "legal residence" refers to when parents are of substantial financial support to a college age student (i.e. they claim them as a dependent for tax purposes still). In this case, you may indeed be covered by your parent's homeowner insurance, But it would be wise to check with your family's agent about this first. Often, there is a substantial deductible required for loss and pricing may rise for the policy as a result of a claim. Make sure your parents are ok with this! Depending on the claims history on your parent's account, or the deductible clauses it may be financially prudent to invest in your own insurance plan. Many of the plans we work with are between $45 and $90 for the entire year, a small price to pay for peace of mind. Renter's insurance is a valuable asset to the students renting off-campus housing as well as on campus housing.
Gonzaga University's department of Housing and Residence Life has brochures and contact information for national companies which specialize in college students' renter's insurance needs. Such companies have some of the least expensive rates since these companies do business nationally with many colleges.These particular companies will also cover students who live off campus in non University owned facilities and faculty and staff members in the same situation. Feel free to drop by to pick up a brochure or two, or call us and we'll be happy to mail one to you. In addition, you can reach these companies through the internet and apply online with a credit card:
- CSI and Fireman's Fund Insurance, http://www.csiprotection.com
- National Student Services, Inc.
- Fidelity, http://www.fidelityins.com
You will find the range in pricing for a year of renter's insurance with these three companies will range from a low of $45 for the entire year to around $90 a year depending on the company, what you decide to cover, the amount you want covered, and the deductibles you wish to be responsible for. We find most students find a plan that is quite suitable for their needs at the very low end of this spectrum of pricing. For the cost of about two fill ups at a gas station, you can have peace of mind for the year.
Whatever you decide, you will want to weigh the costs and benefits of renter's insurance for your particular situation. The importance of comparison-shopping cannot be underestimated. Rates and coverage will vary widely, from company to company. Consider as many different agencies as you can. If the above suggestions don't meet your needs, simply look under "insurance" in the yellow pages and begin calling insurance agencies. Pay attention to:
- the type of coverage
- coverage for damage to your personal property from fire, smoke, vandalism, wind, hail, snow, and water
- coverage for theft of personal property on and off the premises
- amount of coverage - the amount deductible is the sum you will be financially responsible for before a claim is covered by the insurance agency
- living situation - the cost of the policy will depend on your living situation and is based on such facts as the number of apartments in the building, whether you live alone or with roommates, the construction of the building and whether you live in or out of the city limits