As noted in the Housing Contract, neither Barnard College nor Residential Life & Housing is liable if your property is lost, stolen, or damaged in any way, including (but not limited to) fire, theft, water damage, and the elements.
Students are liable for all damages to campus property and belongings that result from their (or their guests') behavior and/or actions.
Students may be covered by their family homeowner or renters insurance. Students should evaluate their family's plan to see if they are covered and/or if supplemental coversage may be needed.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance helps you replace your personal electronics (computer & cell), clothes, books, and other valuables. It can also include personal liability coverage, which could prevent you from paying out of pocket if you are found responsible for someone’s injuries or accidental damage to College property.
Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, considering the protection it provides for you. Most insurance providers offer free quotes for renters insurance online.
Evaluating Insurance Options
If your parents carry a homeowners or renters policy, check the terms and determine what their policy will cover while you are at school. Decide with your parents which type of renters insurance coverage is best for you. Read any policy carefully to find out exactly what is covered and the limits and deductibles that apply. If you need more coverage, ask whether it can be added at additional cost or at a later date.
When determining how much renters insurance you should purchase, estimate the value of your personal possessions. This is the amount of insurance you would need to replace the contents of your room if everything were destroyed. Unusually expensive items, such as fine jewelry or an art collection, may require the renter to purchase additional coverage, called a "rider" or "floater". Your insurance agent can help you determine if additional coverage is necessary.
Another important factor to look for when shopping for renters insurance is "actual cash value" vs. "replacement cost" coverage.
- Actual cash-value coverage will reimburse you, the policy holder, for the cost of the personal property at the time of the claim, minus a deductible. It is important to account for depreciation when considering this coverage option. For example, if you have a 2-year old laptop that is damaged in a fire, you would be reimbursed for the current value of the laptop (i.e. not the full cost of a new laptop).
- Replacement cost coverage, on the other hand, will reimburse the full value of a new laptop, after you purchase a new laptop and submit your receipts. While the up-front cost is greater, you are more likely to receive accurate compensation for your processions.
Keep an Inventory
Hopefully your stuff stays safe and sound in your campus home! But take inventory of possessions ahead of time in case you need to file a claim. Attach receipts and photos for each item in the inventory and store copies of the inventory at home and at school, in case one gets lost or destroyed.