Even if you're a poor collge student, never think you’re too poor to have dorm room renters insurance.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where your stuff was stolen or destroyed by something you had no control over, then you know how distressing it is. One of the best ways to ease that distress is to get renters insurance.
Contrary to what you might think, renters insurance is an investment more than it is an expense.
Thankfully, it is not wildly expensive and you can get it for as low as $5 per month.
The benefits you gain as a result of having renters insurance outweighs the cost by at least 1,000 times.
Your laptop, cameras, clothing, and even the cost to live at a hotel if your dorm room becomes physically damaged, can all be covered under your renters insurance plan.
So if you’re planning to live in a dorm room in the coming academic year, I highly recommend that you invest in a renters insurance policy to protect you and your personal belongings.
So what is the best dorm room renters insurance? In this post, we’ll discuss that.
Before you go off buying renters insurance all on your own, however, make sure to check with your car insurance company or your parents first.
Check with Your Current Car Insurance Company First
Most car insurance companies offer renters insurance for dorm rooms as well.
Before you look at any other plan, call your car insurance company and ask them about renters insurance. Chances are that you will get it for an even further reduced rate (they will bundle it so the overall cost is lower) or you might even get it for free.
Ask Your Parents
If your parents have home or renters insurance themselves, that insurance might cover your belongings in a dorm room as well.
It is important to note, however, that coverage for items in your dorm room may be limited. It may not even cover anything at all if you live in off-campus housing.
In that case, you will need to get your own.
Ask Your School for Advice
Some universities have relationships with insurance companies where students receive special discounts for dorm room renters insurance.
Talk to someone who works in your residential life and housing office to find out more about this.
Now let’s talk about the best dorm room renters insurance you can invest in starting today.
Best Dorm Room Renters Insurance
Allstate Renters Insurance
Allstate’s renters insurance is best in value for those people looking to bundle this with their car insurance.
Rates start as low as $4 per month and they have an online application that is super easy to use.
Don’t want to use their online application? Allstate has agents in cities across the country who will help you get set up with an insurance plan quickly.
USAA Renters Insurance
If one of you or your parents currently are or have been part of the military, you might be able to get in on USAA’s great renters insurance rates.
The nice thing about USAA’s plan is that it has expanded coverage that most other companies don’t carry.
The coverage under USAA’s insurance includes:
- Property protection
- Flood protection (this is usually an extra cost on other companies’ policies)
- Earthquake coverage
- Coverage for the replacement costs of items
- The ability to bring your renters insurance when you move
Of course, there are other renters insurance programs out there for you to check out — but when it comes to the best value for your dorm room, these plans take the cake.
A Few Things to Note About Dorm Room Renters Insurance
It's important to make sure you understand what your renters insurance covers.
- If you have a roommate for your dorm room, your insurance policy does not cover their stuff. Thus, you can encourage them to get their own so they are protected.
- Keep a record of your valuables and have proof for them. This could include receipts, photos, and even deeds (for higher-end belongings) of those items. Having these will make it easier if you ever have to make a claim on your renters insurance.
- If your dorm room has a pest problem, you need to let the university authorities know so that it is solved ASAP. Renters insurance policies don’t cover pest destruction.
- Accidental damage of your items is also not covered by renters insurance. If you accidentally spilled your coffee on your computer, renters insurance will not cover that.
- Always apply common sense in your dorm room so you don’t become liable for destroying someone else’s property.
Like I’ve said before, renters insurance is an investment and not an expense. The money you will save if anything ever happens to the stuff in your dorm room is well worth the $5 to $10 per month you’ll pay.
So make sure you don’t skip out on it.
Options For Students Off-Campus
If you're a student but live in an apartment or house off-campus, you still need renters insurance. In fact, some landlords require you to have renters insurance when you sign your lease.
Remember, renters insurance protects your stuff! This can be essential when you rent, but also if you're commuting to and from school.
We recommend Lemonade renter's insurance for students living off-campus. Lemonade does cover students and there is no minimal age, just not those living in campus dorms.
Lemonade is our choice because of how easy it is to get renters insurance through them.
You will enjoy features like:
- An app that allows you to apply for insurance and make claims
- Fast and easy response times
- The ability to input exactly what you own and Lemonade’s AI-based system will craft a personalized insurance plan based on that
- Renters insurance that starts for as low as $5
- The ability to donate to a charity of your choice if you have unclaimed money on your insurance plan
Renters insurance is probably one of the last things on your mind when you're going to college. But for the small price, it can be a lifesaver financially. If you stuff gets lost or stolen (or damaged in a house fire), having a renters insurance policy is key.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.