Do College Students Need Insurance for Their Stuff?

The answer can depend on whether they live in a dorm or off-campus.

Is your daughter heading off to college? If so, she’ll probably arrive on campus with a trunkful of pricey electronics including a laptop, tablet, smartphone, flat-screen TV and gaming console. But what happens if any or all of this stuff gets lost, damaged or stolen?

You will need to verify coverage with your insurer, but in general your homeowners policy should cover your child’s possessions as long as she is living on campus in a dorm. Liability coverage should extend to the dorm, too. Keep in mind, however, that coverage limits might be lower than they would be at home. Many insurers sell extra electronics coverage to boost limits. Ask your agent.

Living off-campus is another story. If your young scholar is sharing an apartment with friends, she should buy renters insurance. Policies are usually inexpensive – typically around $240 a year. Renters insurance will only cover her and her stuff, so her roommates will need their own separate policies.

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Read more about when college students need insurance.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.