In a year where professionals are asked to diligently review risk prevention methods, the team at GradGuard, using its hybrid knowledge of student housing and insurance, put together some useful tips and insights for campus housing leaders during the coronavirus pandemic.
Take the Self Assessment
- Evaluate if your institution can afford to pay for student caused damages to the residence halls. If not, it would be worthwhile to assess how your residents will be able to pay for said damages, given budget constraints due to single occupancy changes and enrollment pressures.
- Avoid potential misunderstandings. Clarify refund policies of campus residents within housing agreements and verify a student’s financial liability is clearly disclosed. If the institution doesn't pay for student-caused damages, let students and families know. Sometimes that clarification comes after damage happens. Being proactive with the education component can prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
- Consider your current practice of how your school may or may not be able to pay for the stolen or damaged property of residents. Even if your institution was able to pay for these before the pandemic, that may no longer be the case given budget constraints.
- Evaluate new student orientation materials. Ensure that the institution does not suggest a family's homeowners insurance policy automatically provides extended coverage to students who live in student housing. Even if a provider may include coverage, it's often limited, has gaps, or is subject to certain terms.
If you checked off at least one of these points, your students, families, and institution can benefit from a renters protection program. Providing each resident with the opportunity to make an active choice to protect themselves from financial losses is a simple financial literacy tool to implement at your campus. A tech-based renters protection program not only mitigates costs for all parties, students learn a valuable life lesson that comes with adulting and are able to protect themselves and their belongings in a matter of minutes. As the coronavirus and its implications continue to strain higher education budgets, this student benefit can be implemented at your school at no cost.