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coverage for college students

Everybody has stuff — even starving college students. When it comes to protecting your laptop, expensive textbooks, and rare Pink Floyd vinyl, renters insurance has your back. Plus, it's totally affordable (the magic word for every college student).

Renters insurance basics: costs and coverages

Here's how it works.

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How much does renters insurance cost?

Do textbooks and late-night pizza have your bank account flirting with zero? Renters insurance can protect those books (and your other possessions) for $10 a month on average.* That's less than a large pizza — not bad when you think about the cost of replacing your stuff in case something is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance covers the things you'd hate to have stolen or damaged. And you might be surprised at how much you actually have. Worldly possessions like gaming systems, computers, smartphones, graphing calculators, televisions, and, yes, futons can all be covered by a renters policy. Renters insurance even protects your things when you're away from home in case something is taken or damaged when you're in the gym or library.

There's also personal liability to consider. If someone gets hurt at your place (or if you accidently injure someone away from it), renters coverage can help pay for medical-related expenses and potential lawsuits. That should help you (and your parents, we're sure) sleep soundly.

Renters insurance can also cover skateboards, scooters, and bicycles. And if you regret signing up for all those credit cards after reading up on identity theft, your renters policy can protect you from that, too.

How does renters insurance reimburse me?

Depending on the coverage you choose, your policy will help you replace items using either actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost coverage (RCC). Here's how they break down:

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  • ACV: reimburses you for what your possession is actually worth, factoring in depreciation
  • RCC: compensates you (up to a limit) for the replacement cost of the item, regardless of depreciation

Premiums for RCC tend to be a bit more expensive in exchange for higher potential claim settlements.

Should I get renters insurance?

Here are some answers to commonly posed questions on renters insurance.

Can I use my parents' homeowners insurance?

Not necessarily. If you live in the dorms and are under 26, you're likely still covered by their plan. But typically, if you're older than 26 or live in off-campus housing, your stuff won't be covered under your folks' homeowners insurance. Talk with your parents about their policy to learn what coverage options, if any, are extended to you. And check to make sure you're adequately covered away from home if you are on their policy. Even if you are included in your parents' plan, your limit might be much lower than theirs — possibly not enough to cover all your stuff.

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Can I get renters insurance if I live in a dorm?

While few living environments are more unpredictable (and fun) than the college dorm, unfortunately, most insurance companies will not cover dorm rooms. Check to see whether your parents' coverage extends to your valuables while you're in the dorm.

Can my roommate be included in my policy?

Only if you include him or her as an additional insured party or if you live off campus and your roommate is your spouse, domestic partner, or a member of your family.

Stay prepared with renters insurance

You wouldn't walk into a huge exam without studying, right? (Maybe you shouldn't answer that.) Life, too, takes some preparation. And when it starts throwing you curveballs, renters insurance can be there to help.

Get a free online renters quote or call 1-866-439-5633 to start enjoying renters coverage and some much-needed peace of mind.

Related links

What does renters insurance cover?
Here's the rundown on all the ways renters insurance can cover you, from property damage to medical expenses.

10 tips for parents of teen drivers
While you're studying up, get some car-insurance-themed tips to help maintain a clean driving record as you head off to college.

*Average monthly cost and annual premium figures based on Esurance renters coverage purchased between 8/25/2012 and 7/31/2013. Your premium will depend on the details of your selected coverage and your specific property. Coverages subject to availability and qualifications. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions will apply. Esurance renters coverage is not available in all states. In those states, Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. (California License #0G87829), offers, among other insurance products and services, the renters policies underwritten by member companies of the Homesite Insurance Group and Security First Insurance Company.

Policies purchased by residents of FL are underwritten by Security First Insurance Company, and policies purchased by residents of all other states are underwritten by member companies of the Homesite Group Incorporated where not underwritten by Esurance. Renters insurance claims are processed and paid by the underwriting company. Esurance does not underwrite, provide customer service, or pay claims for any renters policies underwritten by Security First Insurance Company or member companies of the Homesite Group Incorporated.

This page is intended to provide you with general information about renters insurance, and to help you understand the various kinds of coverage. It does not describe or refer to any specific policy or coverage. For information about your particular coverages, we encourage you to read your policy contract and consult your insurance representative with any questions.

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