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Back to school: College students add renters insurance to the list

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By: Karla Sullivan August 8, 2014 2

By Karla Sullivan

As college students begin packing and getting ready to move on campus, parents and students should consider buying a renters insurance policy to cover those expensive school supplies that will be hard to replace if lost or stolen, said the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCIAA).

“Parents and students of all ages are busy stocking up for the upcoming school year,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. “College students are getting ready to move away from home and they will bring with them more expensive school supplies like laptop computers, bicycles, stereo equipment, and televisions.”

The average price of a laptop can range anywhere from $400 to well-over $1,000 depending on the brand, software and additional features. However, nowadays college students have been drifting towards purchasing a tablet rather than a traditional laptop or PC, as they are less expensive and offer the same benefits.

“With all the preparations it’s easy to overlook that there are insurance questions for college students living away from home,” said Hackett. “A simple renter’s policy will give parents and students peace of mind if something happens.”

A typical homeowners insurance policy will provide 10 percent of the personal property coverage limit for items kept away from home.

Renters insurance covers many of the expensive items that students typically take with them to an apartment on a college campus. It’s always good advice to read over your policy to understand what is, and what is not covered.

“Recent surveys show between 30 and 45 percent of renters purchase a renter’s insurance policy to protect their personal possessions,” said Hackett. “College students are just out of their parents’ house and living on their own for the first time. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a backup plan with renter’s coverage.”

“A renter’s policy will not replace your lost term paper, but it will help replace expensive items like electronic equipment and furniture if something unexpected like a theft or fire occurs,” said Hackett. “Now is the time to check with your agent or company and you may discover that renters coverage is more affordable than you would expect.”

PCIAA is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $190 billion in annual premium, 40 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance.

Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.

So, before you drop your children off at college, consider taking out a renter’s insurance policy to help protect against life’s unexpected events. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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