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But Is It Safe?
Right up there with the call from my college daughter that she lost her phone, keys, student ID, (fill in the blank), is the call you get when they tell you someone took their cell phone, watch, or whatever valuable item your child has had taken. Keeping their stuff safe is just as important as keeping them safe.
And it has been through their tears and yelling about an item of theirs’ being taken, that I find myself, once again, asking if they had locked their door. You see, my daughters have lived in dorms, apartments, sorority houses, and off-campus houses and consistently, I have personally witnessed them forgetting to lock their room doors (not the front door, although they have done that on occasion). Usually, when I make a mere mention of that fact, I get a sassy response along the lines of “I’m just running down the hall to the bathroom,” or, even better, “Mom, no one would ever take my stuff.” It is exactly this naiveté that has taught them a painful lesson; not everyone is kind and good and honest.
And in my daughter’s particular situation, it was not taken by their roommate, but more a visitor to their living space. It is why I have always purchased renter’s insurance for them and most recently purchased a dorm vault. They did not have a dorm vault when my older daughter went to school. Oh, how I am sure she wished they did.
My other daughter is going into her junior year so I am a little late to the party learning about Dorm Vault. It takes up very little space and can be attached either with a security cable or a bolt. It is designed specifically to comply with residence hall and apartment lease regulations which do not allow it to be mounted to the wall or bedposts.
Equally as important is having renter’s insurance. If you read your student’s undergraduate housing agreement, it states, the University (and its Board of Trustees, and UCF DHRL) are not liable for damages, loss, theft of personal property, failure or interruption of utilities, or injury to any person, except as expressly set forth in the Florida Statutes. For dorms, your homeowner’s policy will most likely cover 10% of the total personal property coverage or up to $1,000, which means an item costing over $1,000 will not be fully covered.
For off-campus apartments, renter’s insurance (liability) may even be required, especially in the newer luxury apartments. But liability policies do not always cover personal property. What I like about having renter’s insurance is that it covers personal property and not just the liability insurance that may be required. You can check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers your student or if they offer it but I did shop around, as well as check with some of my friends, and the renter’s insurance companies that many students are using were the following:
National Student Services, Inc. – 800-256-6774
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (formerly College Student Renter’s Insurance) – 888-411-4911
Security First which is a Florida Renter’s Insurance company – 877-900-3974
Nationwide – 877-669-6877