Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Do College Students Need Dorm Room Insurance?

As great man once said, "There's a time and place for everything -- and it's called college." And in a place where anything can happen, not all of those things are good.

From flood damage and pranks gone wrong, to simple theft or misappropriation, some bad things can happen to a college student's dorm room. Does that mean they need to insure those rooms, and their belongings?

Dorm Risks

College crime is a fact of life, though some dorms may be more at risk than others. According to Consumer Reports, the University of California, San Francisco, reported 421 burglaries and larceny thefts in 2015, for a student body of just 3,170, 14 schools said they had no burglaries or thefts at all. If you're wondering how crime-ridden your child's college campus is, the FBI can tell you here.

Dorm rooms are also susceptible to accidental damage and loss. Fires and floods -- scary as they may be -- don't stop at the college gates, and college students aren't the least accident prone among us, to put it kindly. So even when students are trying to follow college housing laws, things can still go wrong.

Insurance Options

Assessing the risks will help you determine what kind of insurance policy, if any, is right for your kid's dorm room. And, as Consumer Reports also notes, you have some options. Most homeowner's insurance policies cover children at college, albeit for a lower limit on coverage. And, if not, you may be able to add a dorm "floater" or endorsement to your existing policy.

A standard renter's insurance policy may be necessary if your offspring is living off campus. And, believe it or not, there are specific dorm insurance policies out there, with deductibles are as low as $25. A $5,000 policy with a deductible low can run you $140 per year.

That might be worth it if you're worried about your child's computer, phone, or other electronics disappearing from a dorm room.

Related Resources: