Does Your College-bound Kid Need Insurance To Cover Their Stuff In The Dorms?

Aug 7, 2018, 3:07 PM | Updated: 7:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Fall semester is just weeks away from starting on Utah’s college campuses, and your college student might already be packed for their move into a dorm or apartment. They’ve got their laptop, right? The microwave? The clothes? The dorm insurance?

“Um, I haven’t even thought about it,” said University of Utah freshman, Megan Reilly. “I didn’t know there is something like that for dorm life.”

Sophomore Elysha Romano hadn’t heard of it either.

“It was not on my list,” she told KSL. “My parents kind of like deal with that stuff.”

A college kid living at home may not have to deal with that stuff. They are likely covered by mom and dad’s homeowners or renters insurance. In the dorms, though, coverage gets tricky.

“It’s all tied to your parents’ insurance,” explained State Farm Insurance Agent Bekka Carlson. “It’s subject to their deductible. It could affect their claim rating so it could impact them, and then it might not properly insure for your stuff if you’re in the dorms.”

Carlson said a homeowner policy typically limits campus coverage to just 10 percent. So a $50,000 policy means a student’s belongings are covered for only $5,000 once the deductible is paid. That may not fully cover the laptops, smartphones, bikes, sports equipment, DSLRs and other gear a student would take with them.

However, a dorm insurance policy could.

“So, it covers their (students) items with the dorm and then that would have a deductible and work very similarly to renters insurance,” Carlson said.

That becomes really handy, especially in case of theft.

“Typically, with college kids, we see a lot of theft. That’s what I’m seeing the most,” said Carlson. “’Hey, someone stole my laptop,’ or ‘Hey, someone broke into my dorm and took all my stuff in one swoop.’”

“I think it covers theft as well, which is a major, maybe more common thing to happen,” said University of Utah student Mark Miller. “I’m a little paranoid so I do worry about that.”

For good reason: The FBI’s latest numbers show 357 reported thefts on the University of Utah campus in 2016, 183 at Brigham Young University and 76 cases at Utah Valley University.

“You don’t see a lot of stuff like a fire breaking out in a dorm,” said Carlson.

The liability coverage that comes with a dorm or renters policy also covers a student when someone accidentally gets hurt.

“If something were to happen at the residence or the place they’re living and there were injuries and that customer (student) was sued, they would have some protection for their liability,” Carlson explained.

Carlson said policies for students in the dorms typically range from 10 to 20 dollars a month.

If your student is living off campus, they will need renter’s insurance. Your homeowner’s policy will not protect their stuff.

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Does Your College-bound Kid Need Insurance To Cover Their Stuff In The Dorms?