Rental Insurance for College Students

Rental Insurance for College Students

After a dorm experience, renting an apartment may feel like living in the Ritz Carlton. For many college students, apartment life represents one of the first major steps toward self-sufficiency and autonomy, but as those well into adulthood know, reward goes hand in hand with risk.

Renter’s insurance may seem like a trivial formality or easy corner to cut, especially on a student budget, but it’s not just another piece of parental advice to be brushed aside. While complexes and owners have insurance policies covering damage to the physical building, those policies don’t cover your personal property.

What does that mean for me?

Should your jewelry, clothing, furniture, electronics, or anything else in your unit be stolen or damaged for any reason, your landlord has no responsibility to replace or compensate for your losses.

Imagine walking into your apartment to find your laptop or brand-new TV stolen. How are you supposed to turn in your online assignments? How are you going to watch the latest episodes of Game of Thrones? No big deal if you have easy access to the funds required to replace them, but this is where we’ll acknowledge the typical student budget again.

It’s much less stressful to believe you’ll never find yourself in a similar predicament, but it’s also much less stressful to plan for this kind of situation before it actually happens.

So, what specifically does renter’s insurance cover?

Personal Property

The typical renter’s policy protects your possessions in the event of water damage, fire, vandalism, theft, power surges, and other uncontrollable circumstances.

It’s important to note that most policies do not cover damages that are the result of natural environmental disasters. Usually, the effects of earthquakes, floods, and mudslides aren’t considered.

Some belongings may only be covered up to a certain dollar amount by your insurance company. It’s a good idea to specifically ask your agent about limits on items like jewelry or electronics. If the cap on your policy won’t cover the price of your prized necklace or your state- of the-art entertainment system, a personal articles policy can be tagged onto your renter’s insurance for a relatively low cost (typically a few dollars a month.)


Renter’s insurance can protect you from instances of accidental negligence. For instance, you’ve just made dinner with your stove – a luxury you didn’t have access to during your dorm days. Being the busy college student that you are, you start to tend to your other responsibilities and forget to turn off the stove. Luckily for you, most policies provide at least $100,000 of protection against liability claims or lawsuits brought by third parties, which should likely cover the smoke inhalation claim your neighbor is filing.

Liability insurance can also protect you from negligence claims that are out of your direct control. Maybe your guest opens the door and accidentally lets out your new puppy, who then runs and bites a tenant. The average cost of a dog bite claim is approximately $35,000 – probably a little over budget.

This kind of coverage does not include negligence related to business pursuits (you sold cupcakes baked in your apartment that accidentally gave someone food poisoning) or intentional bodily harm (you poison the cupcakes baked in your apartment.)

Loss of Use

A pipe bursts in your apartment complex. You’ll be able to live there again, as soon as maintenance makes repairs. The loss of use portion of renter’s insurance will cover the cost of your hotel, food, and other necessary expenses due to the accident.

Renter’s insurance seems like a good idea. How much coverage will I need?

It’s possible your landlord requires a specific minimum in liability coverage. If not, an agent can assist you in determining what you need.

The amount of property damage coverage depends on the value of your belongings. It may be worth doing research to see how much it would cost to replace your most important possessions. When in doubt, take pictures and videos of your things so you have them on record.

Moving into an apartment is a life milestone for many college students, but so is purchasing insurance to protect yourself. These big changes can be overwhelming, but the agents at Penny Insurance Agency can walk you through the process. Contact us to talk about a renter’s policy that’s right for you!


Equine Insurance 101

Equine Insurance 101

It’s that time of year again! Between the extravagant hats, mint juleps, and the thrill of betting on the right horse, it’s no wonder the Kentucky Derby has been described by Forbes1 as one of the nation’s “Greatest Bucket-list Sporting events.” Beyond the bustle and hype of the Kentucky Derby lies the simple joy of the event: a love for horses.

Equine lovers are known for their loyalty, dedication, and passion for the majestic animals. While they may not be able to curl up with you in bed like your typical house pet, horse lovers know that a horse is far more than an investment or means for a hobby; a horse is a part of your family.

My horse certainly isn’t an elite race horse or a thoroughbred stallion. Should I still get equine insurance?

Your horse represents years of effort, memories, and a companion through many of life’s milestones. Even horses whose existence contributes little to nothing in terms of income require maintenance, specialized care, and property upkeep at minimum.

Two basic forms of equine insurance exist: all-risk mortality and medical & surgical insurance.

All-risk mortality insurance covers costs in the event that your horse dies, requires euthanization, or is stolen. Typically, the insurance premium is based on the age of the horse at the time of insurance.

Medical and surgical insurance is usually only available in addition to all-risk mortality and theft insurance at an additional cost. Annual vet fees alone averaging nearly $500 per year2, none of which includes even the most minor emergency surgeries.

I take good care of my horse, so it probably won’t happen to me, right?

Unfortunately, no amount of vaccinations, routine medical care, or love can protect a horse from all serious injuries or illnesses. Besides old age, colic is the leading cause of death3 in horses. Colic can be the result of the changes in diet, adverse weather, concurrent infections, and stress, among other causes. While the severity of colic has a diverse range, cases that require emergency surgery can have total costs ranging between $5,000-$10,000.

Of the eight horses she has owned, three required use of her major medical equine insurance policy, shared Stephanie Ruff5, Master of Animal Sciences. She used the entirety of the policy on two of said horses.

The moral of my stories is that emergency situations are very expensive, and with them come big decisions,” explains Ruff. “If you don’t have a large emergency fund for such situations, to purchase an insurance policy. It gave me peace of mind knowing I could try to help my horse without worrying about the bulk of the cost.” 5

That peace of mind is our top priority at Penny Insurance. Our agents are committed to designing an equestrian policy program that caters specifically to your horse’s risks and exposures. To learn more about potential solutions, visit our Equine Insurance page, or call us to discuss your options.