Sep. 6, 2013 – BOSTON — College students are heading back to school this month and they’re bringing a lot of stuff with them. In 2012, the average student spent $907.22 on back to college shopping*.  With laptops, smartphones, bicycles and textbooks on students’ packing lists, it would be financially difficult to replace these items if they were affected by theft, fire, water damage, and other risks are not uncommon on college campuses and apartments.

Insurance is one way college students and their families can help protect their personal property from the risks of college life. GradGuard™ recommends that college families review their homeowner’s policies or consider renters insurance to protect the belongings students will be bringing to campus this fall.

Many families already have homeowner’s insurance, which can cover college students. Families should check their policies to see if there are limitations pertaining to their college students away at school. Many policies will cover full-time students living in residence halls, but may not extend to off-campus housing. Parents should also consider their deductible and whether it makes sense to file a claim against their homeowner’s policy, which can affect premiums.

Even if your family does have homeowner’s insurance, you should consider renters insurance as a practical approach to protecting your student from financial loss.   With both personal property and liability coverage, “renters insurance is an easy and often affordable way to protect your personal property against theft, water damage, fire, etc,” recommends GradGuard Co-Founder, Bill Suneson. “It is not uncommon for a laptop computer or bicycle to be stolen from a dorm (you can probably name a friend his has happened to!) and most low deductible renters insurance plans would provide a quick replacement.”

Renters insurance can also protect students if they are found liable for causing damage to a residence. “It’s not something you would necessarily think about when you’re excited to move in and start the semester, but just think about how easy it could be to inadvertently trigger the sprinkler system if you caused a small fire cooking in your kitchen,” adds Suneson. “That’s a lot of damage and a lot of money that your student would be responsible for. Without the proper coverage, the student may find himself with a hefty bill.”

The personal property and liability coverage renters insurance provides can help college families save money in the event of a loss. GradGuard offers a renters insurance plan with features well-suited to college students. With features like replacement cost, expanded protection for electronics, liability coverage and a low deductible, renters insurance from GradGuard is a plan that fits the needs of many college students.

* National Retail Federation/BIGinsight: 2012 NRF Back to School, Back to College