A Warning for New College Students and Parents: Protect Your Property
As New Jersey college kids start to get back to school, AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning them that theft on college campuses is a big problem.
A 2015 Consumer Reports article says dorm rooms can be a hot spot for thieves.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says what people don't realize is that "two roommates could have as much as $6,000 worth of electronics in their dorm: Laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming systems and TVs."
She says you must be aware and have proper insurance. While there's a lot of excitement when moving a student into college, especially freshmen, the insurance is one thing that often gets lost in the shuffle because that's not the exciting part. But she says it is certainly worthwhile making the phone call to find out what is and isn't covered.
If you're living in a dorm on campus, some personal items may be covered under the parents homeowners policy. And if students are living in an off-campus apartment make sure to get renters insurance. That way you know you're protected and your items can be replaced," says Noble.
A renters policy is relatively inexpensive too, she says. It's only a couple of hundred dollars and so worth the investment.
Another great thing to do to protect your possessions while away at college is to create a detailed dorm inventory.
"Create an inventory of what you're taking with you. And today that's as simple as taking photos of your electronic items."
She also suggests taking pictures of the serial numbers of the big-ticket items and holding onto receipts. So if something happens and you need to file a claim, an up-to-date inventory will help make the process easier.
And most important: Don't take high-dollar items such as jewelry with you to college, says Noble. It doesn't matter if you're living in a dorm or an off-campus apartment. There is a lot of traffic in and out of these places and you just don't know who to trust.