What Housing and Residential Life Officers Need to Know About Renters Insurance

June 2, 2020 5:00:00 PM EDT / by Natalie Tarangioli

More colleges and universities than ever are implementing programs to reduce the risk to students and families of investing in college. When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, millions of college students across the country experienced some disruption to their education. Since then, many of these students had to relocate back home, abandoning their dorm rooms and student housing.

While school officials weigh the pros and cons of reopening campus in the fall, it’s important not to let  certain programs receive less attention as a result of the virus. boxes

Renters Insurance shouldn't be left off your short list of priorities.

It is understandable that housing and residential life officers are preparing for a myriad of different scenarios come the fall semester. 

Here's a snapshot of some of the ideas housing officials are considering:

  • Keeping campuses closed with online-only instruction
  • An open campus for degree programs that require in-person labs or studio space
  • Adopting new health protocols and contact tracing methods

If one thing is certain, it's that student housing will have to be up to par with social distancing recommendations. And with that, housing officials will want to make sure students are always protected from unexpected events that were happening pre-pandemic. 

“You don’t want to lose sight of those basic amenities and services and processes that you once offered, just because of the pandemic,” according to Steve Fucci, Vice President of Campus Development at GradGuard. “Because now you’ve taken a few steps forward in one area, but it may cause you to take a few steps backwards in another.”

COVID-19 is a shift and it changes things, but it doesn't remove everything you've done for years.

There is no doubt housing administration is carefully weighing all of their options, while being pulled in several different directions to best protect their students and staff come August. But here's why Fucci says you shouldn't discount implementing a renters program simply because you have a lot going on with the virus:

You may feel like you don't have the capacity to prepare for a new program, with the Coronavirus crisis. But you should want to make it a priority, as to not lessen your offer to future residents. 

Renters insurance was once considered an amenity to be offered for student housing. But those days are now in the past. Institutions everywhere have realized that theft can happen anywhere. In fact, the majority of Renters Protection Program claims that GradGuard receives are crimes of opportunity. 

Offering renters insurance isn't going to give students and their families the idea that the campus isn't safe. When an institution partners with GradGuard to offer a renters program, it's a voluntary choice for students to consider to protect themselves from the unexpected. It's simply a piece of financial literacy, and a chance for students to do a bit of homework about insurance and protecting their stuff. 

It's impossible to know exactly what the fall will look like for colleges and universities. Renters insurance won't necessarily keep the Coronavirus at bay, but it could help with a lot of other headaches -- like replacing stolen or damaged property -- that come with college life. 

Topics: Insurance for Young Adults, Dorm Life, renters insurance, apartment living, Best Practices by Colleges, Student housing, Campus Safety, Higher Education, college renters insurance

Natalie Tarangioli

Written by Natalie Tarangioli

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