Renters insurance for college students

My college roommates and I were living in an off campus house and enjoying every minute of it.  Little did we know about the dangers of winter and summer break in a college town.   Nor did we ever think about Renters Insurance for college students, “why would we need such a product?”

Unfortunate for us, the house was broken into during Winter break and a significant amount of valuable (or at the time seemed priceless) property was stolen.  The good news is no one was hurt, the bad news is we had to pay out of pocket to replace TVs, computer, movies, watches, electronics, etc.

To recover from this theft took quite some time considering the financial condition us 8 college housemates were in at the time.  (The funny thing was the thieves didn’t steal any of the textbooks- some of us probably wish we had textbook theft as an excuse.)

We contacted our landlord to seek reimbursement to no avail.  Sometimes landlords highlight the nature of the risk and encourage renters to obtain renters insurance.  Others include it in their lease agreements.

Had we known or thought about this exposure – we should have considered renters insurance.


This scenario is a more common occurrence than you would imagine.  According to the FBI, “Crime in schools and colleges is therefore one of the most troublesome social problems in the Nation today”.


Renters insurance covers personal property against theft.  Now we all may have needed individual policies as we were unrelated roommates but who knows, we may have been able to get by with one policy.  I’m not writing about the legitimacy of a hypothetical claim, I’m using it as an example and hope you see the urgency of purchasing this cheap coverage.

I hope no one else makes the same mistake for yourselves or your children’s’ sake.

Theft coverage provides coverage for two types of loss (perils).

  • Theft
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief

Hindsight is 20/20

Considering our situation, we would have had limits available to us after we filed the police report and claim to our carrier.

However, we were in college and didn’t think anything bad would happen to us.  Looking back for the price of a few adult beverages or pizza a month we could have been reimbursed for all the property stolen.

For all you risk adverse individuals, we recommend a good alarm, lock, and renters insurance to avoid this scenario from happening to you.

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Arnold Smith

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