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The Royersford Insurance Agent

Not all College Kids Need a Renter’s Policy

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I was talking with a potential client last week about his Homeowner’s Policy. He gave me the basic details of his house; square footage, finished basement, fireplace and other details that I needed to figure out how much coverage needed to be on the house.

 

This, by the way, is a fantastic thing to discuss with your agent to make sure you are not paying too much for your Homeowners policy.

 

Then he said something that I had not heard before. He mentioned that his current policy has an endorsement that provides liability coverage to his son who goes to West Chester for college.

 

I was unaware of this. From what I understood, all college kids needed a Renter’s policy to make sure they had A.) Liability Coverage and B.) Coverage for their personal property.

 

I called the Travelers Underwriter and ran it by him. “Is there an endorsement that enables us to extend Liability coverage to kids away at college?” In fact there is. Turns out it’s incredibly inexpensive too!

 

With Travelers, the minimum premium on a Renter’s policy is $150. The cost of this endorsement is only about $15! On top of the extension of Liability coverage, a Homeowners policy can also extend property damage coverage.  Usually this is only 10% of the amount shown on your policy for Personal Property. But 10% is usually more than enough. So you really do not need a Renter’s policy for a college kid.

With Safeco Insurance you don’t even need the endorsement.  The coverage automatically extends over to the college kid away at school!

 

The exception.

 

Of course there may be an exception. If the landlord or apartment requires that the child have a policy in his or her name then you may have not choice. You may need to get them their own policy.  Also, if your child has any high value items, like musical instruments, jewelry, computers or an expensive bike, we would recommend a separate policy, called a Personal Articles policy.

 

These policies are also pretty inexpensive and could end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.  So although Renter’s policies are never a bad idea, especially given the low cost, they may not be necessary.

 

As always, consult your agent to make sure you are doing what’s right for you.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

How much coverage do you need for a Renters Policy?

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This is entirely based on the value of your belongings. The amount of coverage you should get for your policy may not be the same as the amount of coverage I would need for my policy.

The easiest way to determine how much coverage you need for your policy is to take a look at what you own.  Start with the most expensive items.

Sofas, televisions, bicycles, beds, furniture.  These are typically your most expensive things.

Start adding them up.  Have a fancy bed that cost $3,000?  Start there.  Have a Smart flat screen TV?  Better include that.  Keep a list and start adding them up.  It’s great if you have your receipts but they are not necessary.

Clothes can be difficult to figure out the value.  Your best bet there is to, again, start with the most expensive items and go from there.  Estimate everything.  Have ten t-shirts?  Call it $25 per shirt.  Have 5 pairs of jeans?  Depending on your style they are probably about $40-$50 a pair.  Estimate and multiply.  But it’s better to have more coverage than less.

A Renter’s policy is pretty inexpensive so I always recommend erring on the side of more coverage than less.

 

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Is a Renter’s Policy Mandatory?

Many insurance companies are now requiring that homeowners who rent their houses require their tennants to have a Renter’s policy.  So if you are a renter who lives at a house you may now be required to get a Renter’s policy.

On top of that, most apartment building complexes are also requiring a Renter’s policy.  This goes for college kids in off-campus housing as well as homes for senior citizens.

So, yes, in most cases a Renter’s policy is becoming mandatory.

 

What is covered on a Renter’s policy?

Personal Property

A Renter’s policy is very similar to a Homeowners policy.  The only difference is that a Renter’s policy does not cover the building or any other strucure on the property.  The coverages should be the same.  You should absolutely make sure you are getting a policy that offers All-Risk coverage.  All-Risk coverage provides coverage on more claims than a policy that is NOT All-Risk.  Ask your agent if you need some more clarification.

 

Additional Living Expense (ALE)

Say you have a fire at your apartment.  The fire causes the apartment to be unlivable.  ALE provides coverage for you to rent another apartment or even stay at a hotel while the damage to your apartment is being repaired.  The coverage also provides funds if you had to eat out because you were temporarily unable to cook.

 

Liability

This is the reason why insurance companies and apartment owners are requiring Renter’s policies.  They don’t care about the ten pairs of boots you have in your closet.  They care about being sued.  You need to protect yourself with liability coverage.  $300,000 is a good number to start with.  Only go up from there.

 

Medical Payments to Others

Say I’m at your apartment and I slip and fall.  I need to go to the hospital for an ER visit and also get a prescription for some super duper Advil.  Your policy can actually help provide some funds to me for the medical attention I needed.

 

High Value Items

Remember, if you have high value items like jewerly, bicycles, musical instruments or something else, than you should consider a separate policy for those items.  There are limits on many things and also a deductible that will be at least $500.  If you have any single item that you would have a tough time living without (tv, camera, ring, bike, computer) than you absolutely NEED a separate policy.

 

Cost

It depends on many things.  Obviously amount of coverage is important.  A policy that provides $15,000 worth of coverage should be less expensive than a policy that provides $50,000.

Your insurance score will play a big role in determining the cost.  The insurance score is similar to a credit score.  If you are moving to an apartment with someone you are in a relationship with than you should have your agent get quotes for you using both of the insurance scores.  You could see a massive difference in cost depending on the insurance score.

 

You do not need 2 policies in that situation.  In a situation where there are 6 guys getting an off-campus house then yes, you would probably need  different policies.  But if it is just you and a significant other, than you should be OK to share one policy.

 

Do you have any questions about Renter’s policies?
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

What to know about College Students and Insurance

 

Every year there are many questions that flood into our agency about what types of insurance policies college students need.  This post will be a guide for anyone who needs to know exactly what they should do to properly insure a college student.

 

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A College student that Commutes to School.

The parent’s Homeowners policy will cover the personal property of a child. Regardless of if they are enrolled in a college or not.  You should consider getting a Personal Articles Policy (PAP) to insure any type of equipment that a student has added for the purposes of school.  Equipment like this commonly include cameras, computers, and tablets.  Contact your agent for a full list of items that can be placed on a separate PAP.

Nothing needs to be done to the Auto policy if your child commutes to school.  Sure, you can let your agent know that he/she is commuting but that probably wont affect the rate.

 

Student away at School

Get them a Renter’s Policy.  A Renter’s policy is relatively inexpensive.  Ranging from about $100 to $400, depending on the amount of coverage and the credit rating of the renter.  This policy will cover the personal property of the student as well as provide liability coverage.  In fact, some schools and off-campus housing are requiring tenants to have Renter’s Insurance.

When determining how much Personal Property coverage you need, start with your most expensive items.  Are you bringing a $2000 bed and a $1000 television?  Start there and continue to add the most expensive items.  Ballpark it, don’t make it too difficult.  If you have an expensive computer or camera then you should consider a personal PAP.  This post explains separate high value items in more detail.

Will they have a bicycle with them?  You may want to insure it.  Bikes are a great way to transport yourself around campus.  If it gets stolen you will most likely need to replace it.  A separate PAP will greatly reduce the cost of replacing a high value item like a bike or computer.  Without one you are subject to the Renter’s policy deductible or the cost to replace it on your own.

 

Don’t want to get a Renter’s Policy?

The student’s personal property is still covered, but liability is in question.  Depending on the policy and carrier, a college student may not be given Liability coverage if something were to occur at a dorm or other college housing.  If you are not getting a Renter’s policy but the student does have valuable items, I highly recommend a separate PAP.  The last thing you want to do is submit a claim through your Homeowners policy for the loss of a computer.

 

Auto policy Recommendations

 

Location of Vehicle

If you live in the city and your child is going to school in the country, tell your agent and ask them to “garage the car” in the new zip code.  If they are going from the suburbs to the city than you may want to drag your feet on making that call. Having a car in the city will cause your rates to increase.

 

100 Miles from Home?

If your student is going to school 100 miles or more from your house than you should qualify for a discount.

 

Other Auto Policy Discounts

Get a “Good Student” discount if they have an A/B average.  Make sure they are getting the “Driver Training” discount if they went to driving school.  You need a certificate that verifies the student has 30 hours of classroom and 6 hours of behind the wheel training.

 

You’ll have a lot on your mind with a child at college.  Don’t let insurance be one of them.  Call your agent and make sure you are properly insured.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies.  Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns.  You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook!  Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

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