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Saying Goodbye To Dorm Living This Year? Here's Why Renters Insurance Is Essential For Off-Campus Housing.

Posted by Morgan Graning on 17, Aug 2021

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This is Tuck. Tuck has decided it's time to live off-campus. Tuck just splurged on fresh furniture for his new place - goodbye, hand-me-down plaid couch and uncomfy discount store futon. Tuck even upgraded his practically ancient laptop and cell phone to the latest versions on the market - big flex. Naturally, Tuck decides he better get a low-cost renters insurance policy to protect all of his new fancy stuff. Tuck is smart. Be like Tuck.

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Making the transition from dorm to apartment living is a huge step in the world of adulting. This grown-up move is your first real taste of living on your own, after all. Your college dorm may have introduced you to the freedom of living away from mom and dad, but off-campus housing opens the door to even more independence and... you guessed it... responsibility. You'll no longer be sleeping on the furniture your dorm provides or using the rec center and hangout area amenities as you please. Instead, you now have to take rental ownership of an apartment and fill it with furniture, appliances, electronics, and more. All of which costs money.

Here's a not-so-fun fact: More than 60 percent of renters are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). That’s an awful lot of rental spaces - and personal property - left vulnerable to theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, and plenty of other unfortunate things you don't want to foot the bill for.

Protecting your investments now couldn't be more critical since you'll steadily accumulate more personal property later. So before the value of your things skyrockets, make sure you have an adequate amount of insurance protection to cover the stuff you've worked so hard to buy and show off at your new pad. Here's what you need to know about renters insurance now that you've kissed dorm living goodbye.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover And Why Do I Need It?

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According to the most recent survey data from the College Board, the average full-time, on-campus undergraduate at a four-year school is estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Now that you've moved off campus to finish up your last few semesters of college, you've likely spent that amount and then some on extra stuff to fill up your new apartment. Your personal property, worth thousands - yes, thousands - deserves to be sufficiently covered by an affordable renters policy. Renters insurance in Missouri only costs $8-21 a month for $20,000-$30,000 of personal property coverage. In addition to personal property coverage, several other valuable protections are offered by renters insurance, like:

  • Additional Living Expenses (A.L.E.) - If a covered loss, such as a fire, renders your rental uninhabitable, your renters insurance coverage will help pay for your temporary living expenses at a different location. That means if you need to stay in a hotel for a bit and buy new clothing and food to carry you through your difficult time, your policy will take care of those costs until you're able to get back on your feet at a new place. 

  • Personal Liability & Medical Bills - If someone gets hurt at your place in a freak accident, your personal liability coverage extends to the injured party's hospital bills or legal fees incurred from a lawsuit. Personal liability coverage also applies to certain damages you may cause by accident when you’re away from your rental home.

Just take a look around your pad at all of the valuables you've collected since leaving your parent's nest. Attach dollar signs to each item and do a little simple math - it all adds up. If your personal property reaches or exceeds $10,000 in value, wouldn't it be comforting to know you don't have to come up with the funds to replace those things out of pocket if they get destroyed, thanks to your renters insurance?

If you're in denial that your things are worth $10,000, allow us to give you a harmless reality check real quick. Here are a few examples of some common pricier belongings young adults like you own and what they're worth in today's market, on average

  • Laptop (13-inch MacBook Pro) - $1,500
  • iPhone 12 Pro + Accessories (AirPods) - $1,250
  • Furniture (Bedroom/Living Room) - $2,000
  • Gaming Systems + Accessories (PS5/Nintendo Switch) - $1,000
  • Textbooks + School Supplies (Four Semesters) - $2,500
  • Mountain Bike - $3,800
  • Clothing (Over Four Years Time) - $6,400
  • Jewelry (Women's Engagement/Wedding Ring) - $5,500
These items alone add up to nearly $24,000. Read that again. Do you have over $20k saved back to replace your things if a covered peril - like an apartment fire - destroyed them all in a matter of minutes? While it's unpleasant to think about the worst that could happen, it's necessary when considering the best way to protect all the things you've invested in.
 

4. 4501D_Fun Fact Food Coverage_Blog-01Equally important as protecting your standard personal property is getting coverage and reimbursement for the groceries you splurge on every week. #FoodIsLife

Food Spoilage Coverage, Explained

Food isn't cheap, but you gotta have it to survive and live your best life, so why not protect it? Whether your apartment has only a fridge stocked full of food or a deep freeze + fridge combo to hold all your grub, your CFM Renters policy will pay out up to $500 to replace any food lost from a covered claim. And the best part is your deductible doesn't apply to this type of claim - score!

Imagine your fridge quits working unexpectedly right after you packed it full of groceries, and now they're spoiled. Your renters policy can't replace the refrigerator if it's your landlord's - their policy covers that - but it can replace the groceries that were in it when it stopped working.

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Just like accidents can happen while you're in the comfort of your own space, bad things totally out of your control can happen while you're out and about too. 

Off-Premise Coverage, Explained

Imagine you're at the park in between classes, catching up on some projects. You hop up to retrieve a frisbee overthrown by some nearby friends. While you're up chatting and returning fido's frisbee, your backpack, filled with textbooks and your brand new MacBook Pro, gets swiped by a thief. If you have $30,000 of personal property coverage, you will have $3,000 available in off-premise protection to purchase a new laptop if you file a claim.

How Much Personal Property Coverage And Liability Protection Do I Need?

6. 4501D_Take It From Tuck_Damaged Property_Blog-01Determining Your Personal Property Coverage Amount

The coolest thing about buying renters insurance through yours truly is how customizable the process is. You call the shots when it comes to your coverage, which in turn affects your bottom dollar (AKA your premium). So, you can think of your CFM Renters quoting process like your beloved childhood trips to Build-A-Bear Workshop in a weird, nostalgic sort of way. We've got a valid point here, promise.

Remember dragging your (generous) parents to the B.A.B store at the mall and carefully hand-picking all the unique fits and accessories for your one-of-a-kind stuffed animal? Well, you essentially do the same when coming up with the monetary levels of personal property and liability coverage you prefer on your renters policy. Call it "Build-A-Policy", perhaps? Anyway, crunching those insurance numbers doesn't have to be complicated - it all boils down to the simple math we mentioned above. Let us explain.

Whether you utilize an app to calculate your personal property amounts or opt for the old-fashioned pen-and-paper breakdown, simply make a list of your big-ticket belongings and place dollar amounts on them. We're talking about your electronics, gaming systems, large furniture, clothing, and collectibles. Think realistically about how much it would cost to replace all of your stuff and leave a little wiggle room for the valuables you'll buy in the future. It's better to be slightly over-protected than under-protected, so when you're finished adding your things up, round to the nearest $10,000. For example, if your calculation is around $17,000, you will want at least $20,000 in personal property coverage.

Determining Your Personal Liability Coverage Amount

To recap - the personal liability portion of your renters insurance is meant to protect you against unintentional harm you may cause to others through an accident or negligence. It may even pay for legal costs if you’re sued for accidents at your apartment or dog bites from your pet if its breed isn't excluded from coverage by your insurer.

Few people expect to be the target of a lawsuit, but it could be financially devastating if it ever happens to you. Between damages and legal fees, you could end up owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the other party. Because the monetary stakes are so high within this coverage, your personal liability amounts come in increments of $100,000. Typically the highest amount of personal liability coverage you can choose is $500,000.

Are you unsure abut how much coverage to choose? Try basing it off your net worth. You may not consider yourself "rich" at this point in your young life, but to avoid the possibility of what assets you do have getting wiped out from a potential lawsuit, you need to figure out precisely what dollar amount is attached to you. Add up the value of your car, bank accounts, and any 401k savings you may have from an employer. By selecting at least enough liability insurance to cover that amount, you’ll reduce the chances of losing it all in legal fees paid out-of-pocket.

If you’re expecting your net worth to go up soon — for example, if you just landed a better-paying "big kid" job that aligns perfectly with your college major — you might want to increase your liability limit accordingly. Because renters insurance is so inexpensive, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by how little it costs to increase your coverage.

How Do I Purchase A Renters Insurance Policy Anyway?

7. 4501D_Take It From Tuck_Buying Renters Online_Blog-01We understand you've got a lot on your plate right now. You're finishing up school, juggling a recent move off-campus, and working toward your dream job. Visiting with an insurance agent in person probably won't fit on your to-do list at the moment. That's why we built an online solution to help you purchase renters insurance in five minutes from anywhere through your laptop or smartphone. We walk you through the quoting process in Layman's Terms, so you actually understand your policy before paying. What a concept, right? Everyone can appreciate a little insurance transparency.

Fun fact: Managing your renters policy can be a group effort. Of course, your renters policy needs to be in your name. But you're free to add a parent or significant other to your policy as an interested party to help you manage it. See, you're truly not going this adulting journey solo - the more help, the merrier! 

Click here to check out our online quoting platform offered exclusively to renters. 

How Can I Easily Pay My Renters Insurance Premium Or File A Claim In The Future?

8. 4501D_Take It From Tuck_Manage Renters Policy_Blog-01Staying up to speed with the ins and outs of your CFM Renters policy couldn't be easier. Our top-notch Policyholder App lets users pay their bill, view and download important policy documents, find their agent's contact info, and file a claim. Speaking of agents - we mentioned you didn't have to visit an agent to activate your renters insurance. So, how does a CFM agent find their way to your policy? Well, during the quoting process, you can mention one you'd like assigned to your policy if your parents or a friend have referred one your way from their CFM experience. Or, if you list no agent in the quote form, our Underwriting Team will automatically choose one closest to your zip code to service your policy.

So, if you ever have questions about your policy or prefer your agent's guidance through the claim process, you'll always their information stored safely in the app. Our large network of Missouri agents is extremely helpful and only a phone call away should you ever need their expertise. 

Congrats On Choosing To Be A Proactive Renter!

Look at you, rocking out this renting 101 process like our beloved renters insurance mascot, Tuck. You've successfully made it through the majority of your college years. You've taken the leap off campus and into your own spacious new apartment. Now that you're armed and ready with everything you need to know about renters insurance, all you've got left to do is move right into our tight-knit insurance family - aww! *insert group hug here*


 
Click the image below to start your renters insurance quote!

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Topics: Renters Information

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