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As you plan ahead for the day you pack up your stuff and move away to college, there are important new responsibilities awaiting you. Fledgling students are apt to forget that the “stuff” they packed into their car the morning they left home has value and it can be stolen, lost, or destroyed even in Dormitory situations. Renter’s insurance is the best way to protect your personal belongings. It’s inexpensive and it’s a wise – very grown-up – decision to make.

If you plan to live on-campus, you should know that your personal belongings will probably not be covered in the event of a dormitory fire. Landlords, including your school administrators, are not required to protect your stuff nor are they required to replace it if it is lost. Additionally, you need to remember that theft – including identity theft – runs rampant on college campuses. Taking steps to protect your laptop, your clothes, your little refrigerator and your microwave is the smart way to go.

You will want to discuss these things with your insurance agent. It’s also possible that you can obtain this coverage by tagging along on your parent’s homeowner’s policy. If you are paying for your own auto insurance, you may even get a discount for bundling your renter’s insurance and your auto coverage. Just don’t make the common mistake in believing that you are automatically covered. You’re not.

If you plan to live off-campus you are faced with the same issues and, in some cases, even more sinister liability issues. Roommates are wonderful companions and excellent assets when it comes to affordable housing in your college years, but an entire set of problems can develop around them. For example, your roommates come with their own set of friends and associates some of which may be less responsible than you are. They will become part of your life and part of your liability if there is an accident at your shared-dwelling.

Having renters insurance while in college can save you from a lot of headache should an issue arise.

What if there is a party and somebody gets hurt going home? Can you be held liable even if you didn’t buy or distribute the alcohol? Yes.

What if somebody slips and falls in your shower? Who is responsible for medical treatment? You might be.

Somebody contracts e-coli while scavenging in your refrigerator among your “science experiments.” Who pays the doctor bills? Probably you.

What if your roommate borrows your car and crashes into the gas pumps at the local convenience store creating a mighty explosion in which many are injured? Who pays for that? Well, it’s your car! Go ahead, guess.

When we are young, we don’t always recognize liability when we see it. Protecting ourselves from exposure is rarely on our minds in our tender college years. Renter’s insurance can help with unforeseen catastrophes as it provides you with protection for medical costs and gives you legal representation if there are lawsuits.

Renter’s insurance will also protect your belongings if there is a fire or other loss. This is especially helpful if you don’t have ready cash to replace your personal possessions. You may not imagine that you own much, but if you count the pairs of trendy footwear you under your bed and strewn across your floor then multiply that number by the price for each pair, you’ll get an idea of how much you would need to regain your value. Your techno-toys including laptops, notebooks, I-pods and cellular devices as well as your collection of music and movies are other examples of how expense adds up relentlessly.

When you consider that renter’s insurance will probably cost less than $200.00 every six months, it becomes a bargain in comparison with the potential loss.