Renter’s insurance sends expense for college up for off-campus students

Spinnaker

Students who decide to live off campus in an apartment complex or a rented house may be required to purchase renter’s insurance.

Renter’s insurance is a type of home insurance that offers coverage for the personal possessions in your home or apartment in case they are stolen off or on the premises. The insurance also covers environmental damages including fires and water damage.

Landlords usually won’t cover the cost of stolen or destroyed possessions, only structural and building damage.

The basic formula for renter’s insurance boils down to how much money people are willing to pay. The more money one puts into renter’s insurance, the larger amount of money available for coverage on items in that person’s apartment.

Christine Klausser, a customer service representative for Allstate Insurance, said students should first see if their parents have a policy that covers renter’s insurance.

“Ten percent of the coverage that’s on their parent’s policy for personal property will be covered [and] extend to them, so they don’t need to get a policy,” Klausser said.

Klausser said one of the benefits of having renter’s insurance is the insurance may cover liability for injuries on your premises in the event you have a guest that becomes injured in your home. She said the most stolen products are televisions and laptops.

Chelsey Wallace, a UNF community health junior, bought renter’s insurance for her apartment because Citigate, her apartment complex, required it. She pays $30 a month for $10,000 worth of coverage for her and her roommate’s stuff. She said she would not pay for renter’s insurance unless it was required, but she sees the value in having that extra protection. She bought the insurance because she was paranoid about her apartment flooding.

While Wallace believes renter’s insurance is beneficial, others consider it an unnecessary charge many landlords are forcing on students who may not have the funds to pay for renter’s insurance.

Christian Price, a UNF sports management junior, pays $179 a year through Assurant to cover fire, theft and any flood damage. He feels he shouldn’t have to pay renter’s insurance because it’s extra money that could be going someplace else.

“They told us right at the last second … it kinda sucks,” Price said. “I wouldn’t do it if they didn’t make me. I tried not to but it was on the lease.”

Samantha Veleber, assistant manager at the Links at Windsor Park apartment complex, said her complex requires renter’s insurance because a fire that occurred Jan. 9 at the complex destroyed 20 apartment units. Veleber believes buying renter’s insurance is a great way of protecting your personal possessions.

“It’s very cheap and definitely worth it if something were to happen,” Veleber said.