Importance of renters insurance

Renters insurance is a form of protection that some people may disregard; however, this insurance could be impactful in multiple ways.

Renters insurance covers replacement costs for one’s personal belongings that were destroyed, damaged or stolen, according to the Policy Genius website. These policies cover items typically affected by 16 events, which include certain weather events, utility malfunctions and crime.

Rob Tuckfield, a junior personal financial planning major from Austin and financial advocate for Texas Tech Red to Black, said renters insurance focuses more on one’s personal property.

“Renters insurance covers all the stuff in your house, everything that you own,” he said. “It covers it including when you’re not in your house.”

A landlord’s homeowner policy does not cover an individual’s personal property, Tuckfield said. The homeowner policy only covers the structure and property, unlike renters insurance.

“Usually, people don’t realize it covers as much as it does rather than thinking it covers something and it doesn’t,” he said regarding renters insurance. “You have to check the policies when you get it.”

Most policies cover everything except floods and earthquakes, Tuckfield said. Regardless, it is rare for a person to not want to get renters insurance.

Policies cost around $12 to $15 a month, Tuckfield said. Before making any decisions on which policy to get, a student needs to consider how their personal property is valued.

“You need to know what your deductible is,” he said regarding other considerations. “Because you can get a cheaper policy if you have a higher deductible. But then that higher deductible means you’re responsible for more of the stuff before the insurance kicks in.”

Talking to an agent to make sure what is covered in an apartment and knowing the deductible, premium and limits of certain renters insurance policies are the first few steps Tuckfield said people should take.

Sean Duggan, managing director for Tech University Student Housing, said one can fall back on renters insurance during unfortunate, last-minute situations.

“You just never know what could happen,” he said. “That’s kind of what insurance does. Getting you some protection or a safety net in case something unforeseen happens.”

It is not expensive to cover one’s belongings, Duggan said. Since Housing is not responsible for a student’s belongings, renters insurance is beneficial for most students.

“That’s where the renters insurance comes into play,” he said.  

Connor Reed, a junior information technology major from Houston, said he lives in a student apartment near campus and has renters insurance. He did not originally have renters insurance until he heard stories about people’s houses getting broken into and items being broken.

Regarding getting renters insurance, Reed said he uses the Lemonade mobile app, which is an app dedicated to helping people manage insurance coverage.

“You can actually get a lot of overage for your stuff,” he said. “I had that for about a year now.”

Despite the resources available, Reed said getting renters insurance is important.

“As a college student, money is already tight enough as it is. If you get your stuff gets stolen, it will be a long road ahead of you to get that back,” he said. “It’s a big deal.”

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