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Categorized | Paying For College

Why Property Insurance in College is Necessary

As you are already more than aware of, college isn’t cheap. So it’s understandable that adding another bill such as property insurance sounds like a complete drag. But in the end, property insurance can save you money since it can ensure that all of the pretty and oh-so-expensive “school supplies” you purchased to have a smooth semester (laptops, television sets, digital cameras, iPods and iPads) can be easily replaced if those valuables were to shamelessly get damaged by a weather storm, ruined by an accident-prone and forgetful friend, or stolen from a not-so-trusty worthy roommate. That said, finding the cash to protect your assets is equally as important as finding the funds to pay for tuition.

But the questions remain: should you obtain a separate property insurance policy if you live in a dorm room?

It depends really.

If your parents already have homeowner’s insurance and you still claim their home as your permanent residence, then their policy should automatically extend to your dorm room and you don’t need to pay extra. Of course, you will need to call your insurance provider to confirm that this extension is granted, but typically it is. In fact, most homeowner insurance providers allow their customers’ children a maximum of $1,500 in coverage when living in a dorm. Other providers like to go by the “10 percent rule.” So for example if your parents have $100,000 worth of insurance, then you should qualify for $10,000 coverage for your dorm room possessions.

If you child decides to live in an off-campus apartment however, then the rules change. This is because technically you will be considered a renter and must obtain renter’s insurance to be covered. Luckily there are some cheap policies—some as low as $20 a month—that can protect your belongings.

How to Make Claims

No matter if you live in a dorm or apartment however, there are a few things you should do to ensure that the claim processes go smoothly if an unfortunate incident were to ever occur.

The first is to make an “inventory” list of all of your valuable possessions. This will help you recollect what you have (or don’t have).

Secondly, it’s important to keep track of receipts to the most expensive items, like tech gadgets and other equipment, and store them some place safe. In case of a fire and everything gets torched, I recommend that you take photo-copies of receipts and mail them to your parents so that they have copies of the receipts as well.

Lastly, if you don’t have receipts to certain items you can take digital photos of the valuables as an alternative as well. Take close-up shots of individual items as well as a panoramic view to get a better picture of where the items were placed. You should then upload those photos and email them to yourself or upload them to a free remote storage service like DropBox in case your laptop gets stolen.

Today’s guest article is submitted by Nancy Wood. She is a resident blogger at, a website that helps students pursue their education online. Although she focuses most of her articles on alternative learners, she also enjoys help guiding traditional students and helping them save on school-related costs. She welcomes your comments below.

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One Response to “Why Property Insurance in College is Necessary”

  1. Amy says:

    Always good to think ahead and plan for the unexpected! Great advice for students.