Browsing Tag

college fire safety

Other Safety

Students Remain Vulnerable to Losses from Campus Fires & Crime

August 20, 2019

Growth in campus fires and crimes confirm the value of renters insurance for college students.

More than 3 million college students are preparing to move into on-campus student housing and dorms.  While living on campus is proven to help promote greater college completion, students are often living independently for the first time and are vulnerable to unique risks. 

According to an analysis of nearly a decade of Clery Act reports on Campus Safety of more than 6,000 colleges and universities, annually there are more than 37,000 crime and safety incidents on college campuses. Further, there are 1,726 fires reported within on-campus student housing.

With so much money at stake, John Fees, co-founder of GradGuard, “suggests that college students and families make-aplan in case your student’s property is damaged by a fire or water damage or if they are found responsible for unintentional damages they may cause.”

The Top 3 Reasons GradGuard’s Renters Insurance is a Smart Decision for College Students:

  1. If you can’t afford to replace your backpack, bicycle or computer. – Renters insurance can replace your stolen or damaged property.  Renters insurance can cover those costs and help you get back to classes, without the added stress of a financial loss.
  2. If your school does not replace stolen or damaged property. – In a 2017 survey of student housing leaders, 98% of schools report that they do not replace stolen or damaged student property. Be sure to check with your school to see what their policy is and how much money is at risk. 
  3. If you can’t afford to pay for damages you cause. True renters insurance includes personal liability protection and can help pay for unintentional damages when a student cannot.

GradGuard’s renters insurance policy is designed for college students living either on or off-campus.    GradGuard’s renters insurance contains an exclusive student endorsement that provides affordable coverage ideal for college life and provides both personal property and liability protection:

  • Worldwide property coverage (for study abroad or mid-term trips);
  • Aa low-deductible starting at $100;
  • Replacement cost coverage. 

According to Fees, ‘For about 50-cents a day, students can protect their students’ belongings against losses, making renters insurance a must-have consideration for college families. In fact, 84% of state insurance commissioners recommend students obtain renters insurance. Whether you are living on or off-campus,  college students and their families are smart to consider purchasing renters insurance before the start of school.”

Other Student Life

What to Ask Your Renters Insurance Agent

November 15, 2018

Being an adult can mean so many different things; first, you have to do your own laundry, second make your own coffee, and third purchase your own renters insurance policy. This can honestly be super daunting to those who still have issues making their own dentist appointments, but we’ve made a simple list of things that you should be sure to ask your renters insurance agent when the time comes!

How do I know what my coverage limits should be?

Most renters insurance policies come with both personal property coverage and personal liability coverage. Personal property coverage is the limit that protects your personal items that are inside of your residence, and personal liability coverage is what protects the actual structure itself. Be sure to talk to your university or rental property to see if they require any specific limits while you are living there.

How much is the policy?

See if your renters insurance agency is charging you monthly, annually, semi-annually, or another billing option. Talk through it with them to see if there is a benefit to one billing option as opposed to another.

How long does the policy last?

This depends on the company that you are purchasing through and what you opted to pay for the policy. If you paid annually, then the policy likely lasts for a full 12 months from the date that you chose your coverage to begin. If you are only needing the insurance for a certain amount of time, be sure to ask your agent about their cancelation process and what is required to terminate the coverage.

What does this policy cover?

This is SUPER important to ask and have an understanding of. For example, if you want to have renters insurance in case someone breaks in and ransacks your apartment, just be sure that theft and burglary is a covered peril under the policy you are wanting.

How does the claims process work?

This is a general question with an important answer. Most people have no idea how to make an insurance claim if needed and it should be one of the top questions to ask your renters insurance agent. The claims process can be different for each agency, so just to be sure you clarify it if needed.

When it comes to purchasing renters insurance, questions are important to ask! We want you to ask questions and have a full understanding of what you are getting. It is so important to know that we are here to help you. Much like a doctor, you should be asking your renters insurance agent as many questions as possible and do not feel like any question you have is too small or too silly. GradGuard has your back and encourages you to ask whatever questions you think are necessary. We are there when you need us and will help you with all of your adulting needs.

Other Transition

5 Reasons to Have College Renters Insurance

November 8, 2018

Think of all your personal belongings in your dorm room or apartment, and then try to imagine how much it would cost you to replace them. Is the number in your head a little intimidating? Well, if you have renters insurance, you might not have to pay anything (besides your deductible) to get your belongings replaced in the event that something happens to them. In other words, renters insurance can be a real lifesaver. Here are five reasons why it can be important to have it in college:

1.  You might not be covered under your parents’ policy.
While full-time students living in dorms are often covered under their parents’ homeowner’s insurance policies, their coverage might not be as thorough as it would be if they had renters insurance. In addition, there can be strict limits on how much homeowner’s insurance can actually cover for their customers’ children. Not to mention if you’re living off campus, odds are that you’re not covered under your parents’ policy at all.

2.  Coverage for disasters.
Though you might be careful and take good care of your belongings, there are some things that are just out of your control. If there’s a fire or natural disaster, your items can get damaged or destroyed. However, if you have renters insurance, it can cover the cost of replacing those things in certain covered circumstances. Just some of the items that renters insurance can cover are furniture, clothes, electronics, appliances, school supplies, and even musical instruments.

3.  Protection from theft.
If someone wants to steal a laptop, they know they’ll be able to find plenty in student housing facilities or student-friendly apartment complexes. It’s no surprise that there’s a high risk of theft and vandalism in college. That’s a big reason why renters insurance can be perfect for college students. If something happens to your belongings, you can get them replaced.

4.  Personal liability coverage.
If you throw a party, and your living space gets damaged, you could potentially face some huge fees. The same goes if someone at that party gets hurt. Renters insurance policies often include liability coverage that will protect you against costs you can be faced with if your property gets damaged or if someone gets injured on your property, just double check with an agent to find a plan with adequate liability coverage.

5.  You can share the wealth.
If renters insurance is starting to sound good, you might be thinking that your roommates would be interested in it too. Conveniently, many renters insurance plans offer shared coverage for people living together. So if you have roommates or friends sharing an apartment with you, sometimes everyone listed on the lease can have protection and coverage together under one policy. Be sure to check with your renters insurance agent to see if this is an option for you!

Knowing how valuable renters insurance can be, you might be surprised to find that it can also be pretty affordable. In fact, based on a national average, premiums are typically just $160 a year. Compare that number with how much you could save if you need to file a claim on your belongings. To prepare, you can help the process of filing claims go smoothly by always keeping track of your valuables, and by saving receipts.

For a quick overview of the value of renters insurance for college students, check out this video from GradGuard.

And for additional information about renters and other kinds of insurance, visit our website!

Other Safety

Better Safe Than Sorry!

August 24, 2018

Now that you’re all on your own in college, without any adult supervision from your parents, it’s best to take whatever steps necessary to stay safe and protect yourself from dangerous situations that could occur at any time of the day. One key thing to remember is that there is no such thing as being too cautious, especially when you’re by yourself.  Below are a few tips and suggestions on what you can do to stay safe around campus.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Especially at night. Whether you’re just walking to your car or going for a quick run to the convenience store next door, make sure to look around you and look out for any suspicious individuals or activities that might be lurking around your neighborhood. For many, it is a common thing to have on headphones and listen to music while you’re out and about, however, when you are by yourself, this could put you in a very vulnerable and risky situation. Music can be distracting and can also drown out noises around you, therefore it makes it easier for the bad guys to approach you. Music is good for the soul, but let’s save it for when you’re at a pool party or when you have safely arrived in your car and locked it.

Carry a safety kit.

This doesn’t have to be anything bulky or wildly noticeable. With so many cases of assault and kidnapping nowadays, even in broad daylight, it is smart to carry a personal safety kit with you everywhere you go. The most popular protection item for college students and young adults to carry is pepper spray as it is very affordable and accessible. Another item that’s not very commonly used but is extremely helpful is a personal alarm, which can be used in emergency situations to scare off an attacker and alert assistance. Sabre is a brand of security equipment that offers personal safety kits that include both a pepper spray and a personal alarm which can be easily attached to your keychain. This is a great product to keep in mind when stocking a personal safety kit.

Know how to put out a grease fire.

You’d be surprised how many cases of cooking-related fire incidents occur each year, especially among college students. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the number one cause that can lead to home fires. The most obvious and important factor in not having grease fires is to take the necessary steps to prevent them. However, in the case that you have already started one, you can refer to the list below for the basic tips on how to extinguish the fire:

  1. DO NOT use water to put out the fire.
  2. Locate the heat source and turn it off.
  3. Try covering the pan/pot with a baking sheet or any metal lids until it has cooled down.
  4. If the fire is small, you can douse it with baking soda or salt.
  5. If the fire is on a larger scale and not manageable, use a fire extinguisher.

Purchase renters insurance.

As reported by the Clery Act, there is an average of 22,463 annual burglaries reported on college campuses and 2,070 annual fires reported in on-campus student housing (data is from 2017-2018). For unpredictable and unfortunate incidents like these, it is highly recommended that students protect themselves and their personal belongings by looking into purchasing renters insurance. GradGuard offers low deductibles and worldwide property coverage for students at an affordable price. This is in the event that their laptops, bikes, or backpacks get stolen. This applies even if they are just around campus or vacationing outside of the country. To get more information, click here.

With all that said, let’s hope that you don’t run into any unfortunate mishaps. Have fun being a college student, but always do your best to make sure that you are safe no matter where you go!

Other Student Life

Take Advantage of Residence Life

September 25, 2017
Dorm Room Decor

Students discuss U.S./New Zealand Relations

‘Residence Life’ is an integral department in every College or University, responsible for all things related to living on campus. The goal for individuals working in these departments is to make sure that you have a positive experience while attaining higher education.  Many students overlook a variety of opportunities and events that their resident life department has to offer, as they can go under the radar by those who aren’t constantly seeking them out.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to address 5 areas to look for in your college’s Residence Life Department.

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Health Other

5 Common Risks to Avoid on Campus

August 15, 2016

Coffee House Clarice 2

College can be a time for fun and a time to learn how to live on your own. Without your mom and dad there to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, it leaves a lot of room for common mistakes and risks. Here are five of the biggest and most common ones, and how to avoid them.

1.)    Stress– This is unfortunately one of the hardest risks to avoid in college. With classes, clubs, tests, and socializing there will be plenty of times where it will seem like there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, with discipline, this risk can be avoided. The most important factor is that you do assignments when they are assigned and before they are due. In most classes, your homework will be reading, which to many can seem like no homework. But reading is often imperative to understanding and passing the course and you don’t want to wait until the night before the midterm to read an entire month’s worth of homework. So do it when it is assigned, even if the teacher isn’t collecting it. Another way to avoid stress is to manage your time wisely and schedule it out. Believe it or not, students have a lot of free time if they work out when they will do everything and don’t waste time watching tv or napping. The moral of the story: make sure to use your time to the most and get things done as soon as possible to avoid a huge headache and a lot of stress.

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Other Safety

Fire Safety Tips for Students Studying Abroad

November 6, 2013
Fire Safety Tips for Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a very exciting time for most students, and more and more college students are taking advantage of this opportunity. In 2012, approximately 280,000 US students studied abroad according to the Institute of International Education. While studying internationally is a great experience for many students, it presents its own share of risks to college students. Depending on where in the world you may roam, fire safety and standards can differ dramatically from country to country. Regardless of where you travel, follow these tips for fire safety while studying abroad:

1. Recognize that fire safety standards are not the same in other countries outside the US.

While dorms and residence halls in the US are required to adhere to strict fire codes, the same cannot be said of other countries around the world. Depending on where you travel, there may not be a smoke detector in all of your building, let alone where you sleep. Do your research so you’ll be best prepared.

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Other Safety

Everything You Need to Know for Campus Fire Safety Month

September 26, 2013
Everything You Need to Know for Campus Fire Safety Month

We’ve compiled it all on our Pinterest board so it’s easy for you to learn about fire safety in college. Are you prepared in the case of a fire?

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You can follow us on Pinterest here: GradGuard

Other Safety

5 College Fire Safety Facts You May Not Know

September 20, 2013
Five College Fire Safety Facts You May Not Know


In honor of Campus Fire Safety Month, we hope to help inform and empower students and your families about fire safety and the ways you can help better protect your living space. With so much going on at school, between classes, exams and papers, it may seem like a hassle to take  a few minutes to check your smoke dectectors or map out the best routes out of your room in the case of an emergency. However, the risk of fire is real, and even if you are conscientious, someone in another dorm room or apartment in your building may not be.

Still not convinced? Here are five facts that highlight the need for fire safety diligence on and off campus at college:

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Other Safety

Campus Fire Safety Month: Fire Safety Tips for College Students

September 12, 2013
Campus Fire Safety Month: Fire Safety Tips


Did you know that it is Campus Fire Safety Month? In honor of this month, we ask you to take a moment from your busy back to school schedule and review some fire safety tips and resources, so you’ll be prepared in case of a fire this semester.

The Herald-Dispatch offers these useful tips to students and their parents to check their residences for safety:

  • Look for fully sprinklered housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm or any other fire protection equipment.
  • Regularly inspect rooms and buildings for fire hazards.
  • Inspect exit doors and windows and make sure they are working properly.

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