Center for Personal Financial Management

Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance

By Claire Lewis | April 25, 2024

After living in dorms for the first few semesters of college, it is normal for students to move off campus. When students do end up moving off campus, there can be a lot of fees that they were not ready for or even had no idea that they would be having to pay for. Sometimes, fees are required, like maintenance fees, but other times, it is optional, like renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance and even homeowner’s insurance is very important because it is going to protect your personal items and could save you lots of money in the long run.

Renter’s Insurance

A common misconception is that a landlord or apartment complex will have property insurance that will cover residents if something were to happen to their apartment, but that is not the case. If your apartment were to catch on fire, and you did not have renter’s insurance, your loss is on you, not your landlord, that is why it is so important to make it a priority to have this insurance. There are very affordable premiums for renter’s insurance, and it will protect, repair, and replace your property after a loss. It also would provide coverage if an accident occurred at your residence. For example, Hurricane Ian was just a few weeks ago, by having renter’s insurance, you would be covered if a flood ruined your apartment, or a tree fell on the house you were renting.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is very similar to renter’s insurance. You would need this type of insurance whenever you own the home you were living in. Homeowner’s insurance protects your property and also the liability, so if there was an injury or property damage, you would be protected. Homeowner’s insurance does not include everything in one package though. There are different packages that you may have to purchase depending on where you live. If you live in an earthquake prone area, it would be smart to make sure that is included in your policy, even if it costs a little more. Since we are in Charleston and it is not uncommon for it to flood, it would be wise to implement a flood policy to make sure it is covered in your insurance, especially if you plan to live here long term.

For college students who are planning to rent an apartment or house, or for graduates who are starting their careers and buying a home, it is important to make sure you are insured in case disaster strikes.

You can find more information about renter’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance at these resources below:

Claire Lewis, Peer Coach, Center for Personal Financial Management

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