Back to school: Do you have your renters’ insurance?

About two-thirds of the 750,000 Virginia residents now renting homes and apartments have insurance coverage on their content, leaving nearly 165,000 Virginians at-risk for losing everything in a fire or theft, according to an Allstate survey. In addition, with thousands of Virginia college-age students back at school, the company recommends parents make sure their college-age renters are properly insured as well for expensive items they brought back to school.

“Long gone are the days when college students owned a few record albums and some clothes,” said Dave Prendergast, field vice president for Allstate, Capital Region. “College students today have far more costly items in their dorms, apartments, or rental houses– laptop computers, cell phones, iPods, CD’s, and expensive electronic games. Since these items are so expensive to replace, parents should make sure their students are covered.”

The Allstate survey also found that 58 percent of renters have not completed a full home content inventory or tried to estimate the cost of replacing everything in their home in the event of a fire or theft.

Without home inventory check lists, those renters in Virginia with insurance could face challenges when filing a claim to replace stolen or damaged/destroyed property, possibly delaying payment from their insurance provider. Fewer than one in four Virginia residents (22 percent) in the survey say they have taken photographs or videotaped their possessions during the last two years to help document what they own.

When asked why they don’t have renters insurance, the majority (57 percent) said while they knew about renter’s insurance, they had not yet looked into it and one-quarter (26 percent) said they didn’t own enough valuables for it to be worth it. One in five (19 percent) said they thought it was too expensive. In fact, the average premium for renter’s insurance is between $15 and $20 per month.

“This survey highlights the importance of educating American families who rent about the risks they face if they don’t properly insure their possessions,” said Prendergast. “Renters insurance offers a great value at a reasonable price.”

Allstate has easy to use tools and valuable resources readily accessible, including home inventory check lists to keep track of all personal possessions as well as detailed information on property coverage options. Go to to download a home inventory checklist and for more important information. The home inventory list can also be accessed directly here

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press news