Does homeowners insurance cover a college student's belongings in off-campus housing?

College students own computers and electronic, bicycles, clothing, furniture and textbooks - usually worth more than they realize. Creating a personal property inventory will help you identify these items and evaluate insurance needs. Moving off-campus also opens the student to being legally responsible for a guest's injuries. There may be temporary housing expenses if a fire or tornado destroys the off-campus residence as well.

Renters insurance is a package policy that covers personal belongings, liability and additional living expenses. Personal belongings are insured for specific losses listed in the policy. These are events like fire, tornado, theft and more. Limitations apply to certain types of property like jewelry, musical instruments and electronics. Renters policies have deductibles and typically insure personal belongings on an actual cash value basis. This means loss settlements are reduced for depreciation. Contents replacement cost coverage is available as a policy add-on. Liability coverage covers the student, as well as a pet, if he/she is legally responsible for injury to another individual or damage to their property. It also pays medical expenses if someone is accidentally injured on the property or injured by the student or the student's pet. Renters policies include additional living expense coverage that pays for temporary housing if a covered loss makes the off-campus residence unlivable.

Companies that sell homeowners insurance typically offer renters insurance too. Compare prices from several insurers but avoid deciding only on cost. Confirm policy coverages match insurance needs and check the insurer's financial strength rating and complaint record.