Renter’s insurance ‘a worthwhile investment’

Cody Francis

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: Just a few dollars a month can insure against theft, fire and accidents. Without insurance, these happenings can cost thousands.

Students planning to make the move from the residence halls to downtown should consider renter’s insurance among the number of other new utilities for their home.

Although many students are covered on their parents’ homeowners insurance, some are not and don’t know, said Dawn Marsh, assistant property manager for Alliance Property Services.

Marsh said students who are not covered on their parents’ insurance should check into obtaining renter’s insurance on their own.

“It is definitely a worthwhile investment,” she said.

Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive. Larry Kannal, a State Farm agent in Kent, said it is usually priced between $12 and $15 a month.

“Price can vary if it is a student building with a lot of rooms, but probably only a couple dollars a month,” Kannal said.

Marsh said while some properties do not ask about insurance, many require new tenants show proof of insurance before they are allowed to move in. Also, most homeowners insurance only covers the building itself and not the property of the tenant.

Kannal said renter’s insurance covers everything from theft to fire to someone getting hurt in the rental unit.

“If someone falls and gets hurt in your apartment and you don’t have insurance, they are probably going to sue you and the owners of the apartment,” Kannal said. “If anything, I would recommend getting insurance in a heartbeat because of the legal aspects of it.”

Not having renter’s insurance can cost students thousands of dollars out of their own or their parents’ pockets.

“The legal fire liability is the biggest thing to watch,” Kannal said. “I’ve seen damage from $15,000 to $20,000 from the damage caused and the money it costs to clean up all the aftermath.”

Just recently, Marsh said one of her units was flooded from busted pipes. The residents of the unit did not have renter’s insurance.

“They shut the heat off over Christmas break, the pipes burst upstairs, the ceiling caved in and flooded everything they owned,” she said. “Not one of them had renter’s insurance.”

Marsh said the apartment complex was insured, so the residents did not have to pay for the property damage. However their property was not insured, so most of it was a total loss.

“If our insurance had turned our claim down, we would have had to force them to pay $5,000,” she said.

Kannal said if a renter has an existing claim of $5,000 or less, they can still apply to set up an account to help pay it.

“We would gladly set up an account with anyone in that situation and help them set up a payment plan to make it easier on them,” Kannal said.

Students looking to get renter’s insurance can visit a number of Web sites, including and, and get a free quote for a new policy by providing simple information.

Contact safety reporter Cody Francis at [email protected].