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What is Renters Insurance?

Insurance…There is a lot of things that might come to mind when you think of insurance. My little car is insured if I were to get in an accident and I have medical insurance that will pay for my medication if I were to get sick. But what about my personal property? As stated in our housing contract, The University of Tennessee “shall have no legal obligation to pay for the loss of or damage to Student’s personal property occurring in University’s buildings or on University’s property…Students or parents are encouraged to carry appropriate insurance. Student[s are] responsible for the accommodations assigned and shall reimburse the University for all damages within or to said accommodations” as a result of their negligence.

What does this mean?

The University of Tennessee will not pay to fix or replace your laptop, phone, clothes, bike, and other personal items in the event of fire, theft, flood and other casualties and if you cause a fire, water damage or another incident you will be charged for the damage associated with the incident.

The average student has around $5,000 to $6,000 worth of property they bring to campus and not many of us have a couple thousand dollars to replace our possessions or cover damages to the dorm. This is where renters insurance can help.

Some students might have coverage under their parent’s homeowners policy in the event of a loss, BUT the deductibles (what you are responsible for paying before the insurance company will pay) tend to be at least $500 and more commonly $1,000 or more. They typically do not cover certain causes of loss, like breakage or accidental damage, flood, water or sewer backup, and have restrictions on certain types of property like electronics.

A renters insurance policy is very inexpensive (usually less than $5 a month) and should cover damages as a result of fire, theft, burglary, water, earthquake and flood. Most policies do not require a credit check and will pay to repair or replace your property with a new item of like kind and quality regardless of how old the item. In addition, most policies have deductibles starting around $25 to $100.

If you decide to purchase insurance, you will need to choose from a wide variety of companies and policies. To help with your choice, The University of Tennessee has made arrangements with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. to offer specialized student property protection. Special provisions and benefits of their policy include:

  • Replacement Cost Valuation
  • Accidental Damage
  • Flood and Earthquake coverage
  • Theft and Burglary
  • Fire
  • Water Damage
  • Vandalism
  • Low Deductibles starting at $25
  • Worldwide Coverage
  • Limited Identity Theft Expense Coverage
  • Premiums as low as $69 annually

You can also add Liability Coverage to your policy for only $42.12 a year. This will cover you if you damage your dorm room and the University of Tennessee asks for you to pay for damages or in the event another student sues you for damaging their property in the event of a loss.

For more information, visit The University of Tennessee Risk Management Website or call (865)974-5409.