Risks to Student Property at & near the University
Risks to Student Property at and near
Property Risk Myths: Busted!
Take a moment to consider the following statements:
→ Residence hall living is completely risk-free.
→ My college student living off campus is invincible from any number of threats.
→ My college student will always take good care of her rental property, as will
→ My college student loves his iPod and laptop, so he will watch them closely.
→ My homeowners insurance will fully cover my college student’s property
regardless of full-time/part-time status.
Unfortunately, all of the above are false. Recent data show that college students
are affected by fires and burglaries at surprisingly high rates.
Real Risk You Might Have Overlooked
• In 2009, the most recent year’s data available, there were more than 3,740 dormitory fires. That’s about
one per U.S. campus. (source)
• Structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks are more common during the evening
hours between 5-11 p.m., as well as on weekends.
Burglaries on and Around Campus
• In 2009, 26,281 burglaries were reported relating to college students including more than 12,000
residence hall burglaries. (according to ed.gov statistics)
• 40% of students leave their apartment or dorm doors unlocked. (source: Uni-Ball survey)
• What happens if your student’s roommate had a crazy party and trashed their apartment?
• What if somebody got hurt on your student’s rental property?
• National Association of Insurance Commissioners: many homeowner’s policies fail to cover students if they
live off campus. (source)
• Your homeowner’s policy may not provide coverage if the student is not full-time or is over 24. (source)
• Sometimes, the policy has strict limitations regarding which property it covers or a coverage limitation that
functions as a percent of your home’s coverage.
But won’t the university cover any dorm damages?
When asked if campuses helped students with these property
losses, a significant majority of housing directors answered
Does your campus help students overcome property
losses that may disrupt their education?
• This is a common misconception among parents. So
common, in fact, that we asked residence hall directors
about how they handle losses:
Does your campus help students to replace bicycles or
computers after they are stolen?
Does your campus replace student property damaged
by a fire or a flood?
But will my student’s university help in case of theft or fire or flood?
• The responses we received from hall directors across the
country show that, financially, families are likely to bear the
brunt of such unexpected losses.
What You Can Do to Mitigate the Risk
Although you and your college student are facing real risk against his/her personal
properties, there are things you can do to mitigate the risk and protect your and your
1. Get more information on property risk college students face. We recommend
you read this document from the National Association of Insurance
Commissioners on Renters Insurance for College Students.
2. Have a conversation with your student about property safety on and around
3. Check with your school for important safety information and emergency phone
numbers. Hopefully neither you nor your student will ever need to call these
numbers, but it’s important to program them into your and your student’s cell
4. Confirm your student’s property coverage on your homeowner’s policy. If your
homeowner insurance doesn’t offer adequate coverage for the personal
property that your student brings to college, consider renters insurance for your
Will My Homeowner’s Policy Help My Student?
• Check your policy’s requirements for your student. Many require that your
student be enrolled full-time and under age 24.
• Check if your policy has a cap on coverage away from your home. Take an
inventory of your student’s property to make sure it is covered.
• Consider your deductible. Your student may own expensive and essential
personal items that might not be covered by your policy due to falling
within a high deductible.
• Consider if filing a claim on behalf of your student makes sense for you.
Filing a claim against your homeowner’s policy may increase your
Based on these points, if your homeowner’s coverage
doesn’t make sense for your student, you may want to
consider renters insurance.
If you have homeowner’s insurance, your student may be covered
under your policy, however, there may be limitations.
Advantages of Renters over Homeowners Insurance
• There are many situations in which renters insurance may provide
beneficial coverage to you and your student. This includes lower
deductibles and avoiding the ugly ramifications of claims (namely,
• Here’s a handy checklist from our friends at GradGuard explaining
some of those advantages:
Is Renters Insurance Right for My Student?
If your homeowner’s policy does not provide adequate coverage for your student, you
can help protect their personal property and liability with renters insurance.
Some features to look for in a plan suited to college students are:
☛ Replacement cost: A plan with replacement cost won’t just reimburse what your
student’s belongings were worth, it will help replace them for the value to
purchase a new one (not the depreciated value).
☛ Electronics coverage: Look for a plan that covers electronics up to the policy limits.
Your student’s gadgets(laptop, tablet, speakers, etc.) add up and a special limit
could leave you vulnerable.
☛ Worldwide coverage: Some plans offer coverage even outside your student’s living
space, including when a student travels abroad. This is a good feature for students
on the go. Be sure to check for limits on this coverage.
☛ Low deductible: A low deductible will help save you money in the event of a claim.
We recommend Renters Insurance from GradGuard, which includes all of these
features as well as:
• Personal Property Coverage - Available as low as $5,000 and up to $25,000
• Personal Liability Coverage - Available Up to $100,000
You have questions, we have answers!
Join College Parents of America and get more tips and advice on:
• How to maximize your student’s college experience
• How to protect your family’s college investment
• How to ensure your college student’s health and wellbeing
• And much more…
For more information, please contact us:
www.CollegeParents.org or call (888) 761-6702