Sending your son or daughter to college is an experience that comes with exhilaration, stress and a measure of anxiety. And, then there is all the “stuff” like electronics, furniture, sports equipment and, perhaps, a car. 
 
“You can relieve some of that worry by understanding how insurance works for college students and how to keep belongings safe while away from home,” explained Westfield State Farm agent Christine Cosenza.
 
Before the school year starts, it’s important to understand:
 
If you live in a rented apartment, house or condominium, your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance. College students living in off-campus housing are ideal candidates for needing renters insurance. Many students bring thousands of dollars-worth of personal items, such as electronics, computers, textbooks, clothes, furniture, and bicycles, with them to school. It is the renter’s responsibility to provide coverage for these valuable items. It can also help protect against liability in off-campus housing.
 
 
“If a college student is enrolled in classes and living in on-campus housing, the student may be covered under his or her parents’ homeowners or renters insurance policy,” said Christine. “However, a personal articles policy can provide additional coverage for expensive electronics, musical instruments, and equipment that may exceed coverage amounts in the standard policy.” 
 
Christine also dispels some common renters insurance myths:
 
Myth #1: “Renters insurance is expensive.”
 
In this case, the numbers speak for themselves. According to the IIABA, the average renters policy costs just $12 a month for up to $30,000 in personal property coverage. That’s solid coverage for less than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee a week. Still concerned about price? Your insurer will work with you to find the combination of coverage and costs that suits your needs. You might even qualify for a discount by taking some simple home safety precautions or purchasing another policy, such as auto insurance, with the same insurer.
 
Myth #2: “You don’t need insurance if your stuff isn’t expensive.”

 
Most renters’ belongings cost more than they think. In fact, the average person has over $20,000 worth of belongings that are probably not covered by a landlord's policy. Think that number is too high? Take a moment to add up the approximate cost of your computer, television, stereo, furniture, jewelry, and clothing. If a fire gutted your apartment tomorrow, would you have the cash on hand to replace it all?
 
Myth #3: “Renters insurance covers only your possessions.”
 
Renters insurance covers much more than just your personal property: The average policy also includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage. That means your insurer will help cover the costs if you’re held responsible for injuring another person or damaging another person's property, including your landlord’s. Moreover, this coverage applies whether the incident occurred within your residence or elsewhere.
 
“If your student will be taking a vehicle to school, make sure he or she is adequately insured,” added Christine. “Insurance rates may be impacted negatively as a result of traffic violations — and positively with potential discounts for good grades.”