Thursday, February 9, 2023

U students not properly insured

September 5, 2001

After a flood damaged Jessica Schulte’s belongings, she came out financially without a scratch - but other students may not be as fortunate.

More than 80 percent of college students who rent do not have insurance for their personal belongings, said a recent survey conducted by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents.

Schulte, a communication senior, said she was insured through her parents with extra rental insurance.

“We had our computers down there, and we got (money) back with no questions asked,” she said.

Schulte said college life leaves plenty of opportunities for personal property to be stolen.

“If you live in the dorm, you don’t always know your suitemates and their friends,” she said. “If you live off campus, you don’t know if your roommates will lock your door.”

Gary Mitchell, spokesman for the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents, said many students don’t know personal property, such as computers, stereos and clothing, may not be insured.

“Most students and renters, in general, make the mistake in thinking that the landlord is insured,” he said.

Beside being responsible for replacing stolen or damaged items, students are also liable if anyone is injured in their living space, Mitchell said.

Packaging senior Mike Gallegos said he was unsure if he has coverage for his personal property but said East Lansing is a safe place to live.

“I never had a problem where anything was taken from me,” he said. “I don’t have anything really valuable anyway.”

But Mitchell said many students might not realize the value of the property they bring to campus.

“Students have access to more valuable things than they did in the past,” he said.

He said students can purchase renter’s insurance for about $100 a year, but they can check with their parents to see if an existing policy covers students at college.

MSU’s residence halls do not offer personal property insurance to students, said Angela Brown, director of University Housing. But efforts such as checking ID after the hall closes and encouraging students not to prop doors open are in place.

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