Learning Curves | Shelter Insurance®

Learning Curves: College Living

School is starting soon, and many kids are heading off to their first year of college. It’s a new life, full of adjustments, including a new schedule, a new way to learn, choosing a major, maybe even deciding where to live and who to live with. Many colleges require students to live on campus in a dorm during their freshman year, but some don’t, so students move into an apartment or rent a place with friends. Either way, they are living on their own…and things can happen. Their laptop could get stolen from their dorm or apartment, a friend could trip over a shoe or a cord and hurt themselves, then sue for medical expenses. There could even be a fire that could cause them to lose all their belongings. If any of those things happen, how would they pay for the expenses of replacing their things or paying their friend’s medical bills? It would likely fall on you and your homeowners may not provide enough coverage for them in college. That’s where a renters insurance policy can be helpful.

Hazards of Renting
Most college students don’t have the means to buy a house off campus and live in it by themselves their first year of college. Besides—they are still teenagers, and teenagers are social creatures, so having a roommate or two might even be preferable to them—especially when it comes to splitting bills like rent and utilities. Speaking of utilities, even the most responsible teen isn’t always the most worldly. They may know a lot about technology, but they still need to learn the basics about how to keep utility bills low, deposits on utilities, liability for accidents and more. Even if your child may know a lot about home safety, what if a roommate uses a grill too close to the house and causes a fire, or someone uses a space heater too close to something that could catch on fire? Or what if a roommate (or your child) brings a dog to live with them and it bites a visitor? Besides the safety issues, fires can destroy a lot, a dog bite can cause a lawsuit, and the responsible parties for these actions may be held liable for the damage. If that person doesn’t have renters insurance or the money to cover the damages, this could be a problem. Besides replacing your child’s things that are damaged in a fire or stolen, renters insurance can provide some liability coverage for certain situations. Of course, how much renters coverage to buy is a factor. Renters insurance is pretty inexpensive, but if your child needs it, you can figure out how much they need by using a personal property calculator.

Taking a Car
Taking a car to campus is always an added measure of expense and risk. There’s the extra expense of having to park on campus (assuming they can find and pay for parking) and the pressure from friends who want to borrow the car. Set firm rules about that from the start, particularly if they are listed on your policy and taking a car you own to school. Given that your teen is still technically a teenager for roughly the first half of their college career, you’re still probably paying a pretty penny to have them listed as a driver on your policy or for them to have their own car. If a friend wrecks it, it could result in an expensive situation. If your child is still listed on your policy, their good grades could help you save at least a little on your auto insurance. There are other discounts available too, so check with your agent.

If you thought the hard part (high school) was over, college is a whole new chapter full of learning curves for them and worry for you. Renters insurance is an inexpensive way to put at least some of those worries to rest.

Back to Top