Sending a child off to college is a wonderful thing. It marks a new stage in their lives and allows for a new level of independence and real growth in learning to become responsible adults. Today’s student arrives at college with an array of personal belongings that help make them effective students and provide for comfortable living while away from home. In addition to clothing, furniture items, and books, they arrive at school with laptops, tablets, televisions, smartphones, printers, game consoles and more.
Many parents assume that personal belongings are protected by insurance provided by the school’s housing insurance, but this is not typically the case. SUNY Resident Life Handbooks clearly state:
“The College cannot be held responsible for loss of or damage to personal possessions in student rooms or suites resulting from fire, theft, leaks, vandalism, confiscation, mechanical failure or acts of nature. Residents are encouraged to carry personal property insurance.”
Renter’s insurance is one way to help protect your college student and your budget. At Bieritz Insurance, a typical policy costs in the area of about $100 per year and provides for replacement value of $10,000 with a $250 deductible. Another avenue would be to obtain a rider on homeowner’s insurance, however this typically has a high deductible ($500 to $2000), so it wouldn’t make sense to file a claim for something like a stolen smartphone as it wouldn’t cover the requirements for the deductible. Additionally, a claim through your homeowner’s insurance could effect your policy.
Replacement cost coverage (as opposed to actual cash value) will reimburse the full value of a replacement item, after you purchase the replacement and submit your receipts. This requires a greater up-front cost, but you are likely to receive accurate compensation for possessions. Insurance companies will want proof of purchase for all items on a claim, so it is helpful to keep a file at home (not on campus) that documents all items that you want insured – include purchase receipts, model numbers, serial numbers, etc. Photo documentation is also helpful.
If you are looking to protect the property of your college student, contact Bieritz Insurance to find out what might be covered under any existing policies and we can help you determine if a separate renter’s insurance policy is a better option.
Bieritz Insurance Agency is an independent agency working with over 20 companies to offer our customers a variety of options, and find the right product and company to fit your needs. We operate in the beautiful Leatherstocking Region of Central New York and are proud to call the Cooperstown Area our home. We are an Award Winning Allstate Independent Agency, having received recognition for being among the top 30 Independent agents in the United States. Contact us at (607) 547-2951, 209 Main Street, Cooperstown or (607) 263-5170, 128 Main Street, Morris.