Insurance Blog

Do College Students Need Renters Insurance?


college students renters insurance

If you're a college student, it's important to have insurance coverage for your belongings, whether you are living in a dorm or an off-campus apartment. Depending on where you live, you may find that your personal property is covered by your parents' insurance, while in other cases you may need to purchase your own renters insurance policy.


If you're living in a dorm or other campus housing, your belongings may be covered under your parents' homeowners or renters insurance policy. You'll want to check with your agent to make sure, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that students who are younger than 26 and living on campus may be covered through their parents' policy.

It's a good idea to know the policy's coverage limits for personal property. The Insurance Information Institute(III) says some policies limit coverage for belongings while they are away from the policyholder's home. This is often referred to as "off-premises coverage." For example, if your parents' policy provides $100,000 worth of coverage for belongings, but limits that coverage to 10 percent for items that are off-premises, it may provide up to $10,000 for items away from their home, including belongings you bring to school.

It's also important to note that certain items, such as a musical instrument or expensive jewelry, may have coverage limits. If the policy's limits aren't enough to cover the items you'll be bringing to school, your parents may be able to add scheduled personal property coverage to their homeowners or renters insurance policy to help cover certain valuable possessions.


If you'll be living in off-campus housing, the III cautions that your parents' insurance will probably not extend to the belongings you bring with you (although you'll want to check with your agent to be certain). You may want to buy your own renters insurance policy to help pay to replace or repair your belongings if they are stolen or damaged by a covered risk. A covered risk, often described as a "peril" in insurance terms, is a cause of damage that is covered by your insurance policy. Read your policy to learn what risks it may cover, such as theft or fire.

A renters insurance policy also includes liability coverage, which may help prevent you from paying out of pocket if you are found legally responsible for someone else's injuries or accidental damage to their property (including your landlord's).

The III recommends asking your agent about coverage limits and whether you may benefit from additional coverage for certain valuables.

Hopefully you and your stuff stay safe and sound while you're running to and from classes, but it may be a good idea to keep a home inventory — it can be a big help if you ever need to file a claim.

Whether you're living in the dorms or are sharing an apartment with friends, we can help you choose the coverages you need as a college student. Give us a call, we would like to answer any questions and help you in covering your belongings. (239) 593-7333


How to Increase the Value of Your Rental Property


Two people are making updates to a house.

As a homeowner, you likely know that making certain renovations may help increase the value of your property. But when you’re also a landlord, updating your property may make it more appealing to potential renters and allow you to increase monthly rent, according to Zillow. If you’re contemplating on making renovations to your rental property, read on to learn what factors help determine rent prices and what upgrades tend to offer the biggest returns.

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Type of InsuranceHomeAutoRentersLifeCondoMotorcycleBoatATV/Rec. VehicleBusiness Insurance

What Factors Determine Monthly Rent?

Before you decide on upgrades, you may want to determine how much you can charge for your property’s monthly rent. Take a look at your local market and compare your property with other rentals in the area, says Zillow. Getting familiar with the cost of rentals when their property is the same size as yours, or has similar features (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or a garage), can help you set a guideline when determining your rental price. If you find that your property is in better condition and contains more features or upgrades, you may be able to increase the cost of rent at your place, Zillow says. As you consider upgrades, you may want to compare the rental cost of homes with similar features to the ones you’re considering, to help you decide whether they are worth the investment.

Renovations With the Biggest Return

Certain home renovations may put a percentage of what you spend back into the value of the property — the average renovation adds about 65 percent of its cost back to the value of the home, says U.S. News & World Report. For example, if you spend $500 on an upgrade, you would potentially increase the value of your home by 65 percent of that cost on average, or $325. According to Remodeling magazine, these are some renovations that have the highest potential for return:

  • New garage door: 98.3 percent

  • Upgraded front door: 91.3 percent

  • New deck addition: 82.8 percent

  • Minor kitchen remodel: 81.1 percent

  • Siding replacement: 76.7 percent

  • Window replacement: 74.3 percent

  • Bathroom remodel: 70.1 percent

If you’re a landlord getting ready to remodel, remember that you can boost the value of your property while also making your place more desirable to renters. Be sure to do your research and choose renovations that are suitable for your property, location and budget.


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3 Keys To Comparing Car Insurance Rates



3 keys to comparing car insurance quotes


Whether you just bought a new car or you're simply doing an annual review of your finances, comparing car insurance rates can be a good way to assess whether you're getting the most for your money.

To start, the Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests getting at least three quotes from auto insurance providers. Each quote you get should be for the same set of coverages, limits and deductibles, so you can truly compare them side by side.

Not sure where to begin? Here's some more information on setting up an auto insurance comparison.


Auto liability coverage is required in most states. Liability coverage may help pay for car repair and medical bills of another driver if you cause an accident.

Most states set minimum liability coverage limits that drivers must purchase. You may have the option of increasing your auto liability limits — and the III suggests that's a good idea. If you cause an accident and the damage exceeds your state's minimum liability coverage limits, you could end up paying out of pocket for additional expenses.

Whether you select the state minimums or increase your coverage, make sure the limits you set for bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage are the same for every quote you compare. Bodily injury liability coverage helps cover expenses of another person's physical injury if you are found liable in an accident. Property damage liability coverage helps pay for damages you may cause to another person's property.


Some car insurance coverages, such as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, typically come with a deductible that you may be able to adjust. A deductible is the amount you'll pay out of pocket toward a covered claim. Increasing your deductible may lower your car insurance premiums, says the III. However, a higher deductible means you'll pay more out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in after a covered loss.

When you are comparing car insurance rates, the deductibles you choose should be the same for each quote so you can make an accurate comparison.


While liability coverage is required in most states, other coverage requirements vary from state to state. Some coverages may even be optional. You may want to familiarize yourself with your state's specific car insurance requirements. To accurately compare car insurances rates, make sure you've selected the same set of required and optional coverages for each quote you get.


Liability coverage:

  • May help pay for another person's property damage or medical bills if you cause an accident.

Required in some states:

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage:
    May help protect you against damages caused by a driver without insurance or not enough insurance.

  • Medical payments coverage:
    May help pay for medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in a car accident.

  • Personal injury protection (not available in all states):
    May help pay for hospital bills, lost income and even child-care services if you're injured in a car accident.

Typically optional:

  • Comprehensive coverage:
    May help pay for damage to your car not caused by a collision. Coverage may include theft, vandalism or damaged caused by animals. If you're leasing or paying off your car, your lender may require you to have comprehensive coverage.

  • Collision coverage:
    May help pay to repair your car if it's been damaged or destroyed in a collision with another vehicle or object such as a fence. If you're leasing or paying off your car, your lender may require you to have collision coverage.

  • Rental reimbursement coverage:
    May help pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired after a covered loss.

  • Towing and labor cost coverage:
    May help cover services if your car breaks down. Coverage may include jump starts, fixing flat tires or towing.

If you need help understanding your car insurance quote or deciding on which coverages best suit your needs, give us a call at (239) 593-7333.