Implementing a new program or vendor on a college or university campus is typically not a simple task. Usually, such a decision involves a lot of people from different departments, approvals, coordination of schedules, and budgets.
When Aubree Adams was first interested in bringing GradGuard's Renters Protection Program to Louisiana State University (LSU), discovering that her campus in Baton Rouge, LA, already worked with GradGuard to provide students with the opportunity to purchase tuition insurance was a pleasant surprise.
"Anytime I talked to anybody in the GradGuard company, it's the best of service. The nicest people," Adams said. "I knew that we were going to be partnering with someone that's actually there for us."
Over the years, Aubree can recall countless incidents where renters insurance would have benefitted her students and campus. For example, one time, students threw a football around in a residence hall and broke a sprinkler head. Or, when they were replacing a roof, one roofer fell through the roof and broke a pipe.
"These things happen," Adams said.
Helping Students Help Themselves
In the past, Adams would urge students to see what they could do with their parent's homeowners insurance policy. But because most homeowners insurance companies have terms, exclusions, and limitations that apply to college students, they were often left unprotected.
Students who don't have renters insurance are left vulnerable to financial losses if they experience theft, fire, or water damage.
About a year and a half after first partnering with GradGuard to offer students tuition insurance, LSU welcomed the renters insurance program in November 2022.
"We wanted to have something out there for our students," Adams said. "Having that at their fingertips when they are in the application process when they pick out their room is something we wanted to provide."
Implemented in as Little as Two Weeks
LSU uses StarRez as their residential management platform, which GradGuard's Renters Insurance easily integrates with.
Because LSU was already working with GradGuard for tuition insurance, Adams didn't have to jump through hoops by exploring multiple options and requesting proposals to bring renters insurance on board, she said.
"It was a lot of checked boxes that we didn't have to do to get something implemented very quickly," Adams said. "But with you all, you were able to do that super fast."
GradGuard's Renters Insurance program was implemented within two weeks at Louisiana State University. The partnership makes it easy for students to purchase renters insurance and provides peace of mind knowing their belongings are protected. Adams and her colleagues can be assured students understand the university's policy on paying for damages or stolen property and that they had the opportunity to protect themselves.
Protecting Students and Schools
The fall 2023 term will be the first time LSU students will have the option to protect their belongings with GradGuard's Renters Insurance directly in their housing application.
Partnering with GradGuard means school officials don't have to become experts in insurance. When students have questions about the policy, coverages, or anything else, GradGuard takes care of all of that.
During the implementation process, GradGuard also provides canned language to school teams to use in their housing portal, so they don't have to come up with it on their own.
Students are presented with the option to purchase renters insurance while they're filling out their housing application online. Buying a policy is entirely optional, but all students must acknowledge they alone are responsible for their belongings and their residence hall, including any damages that may occur.
If they decline coverage in the portal, they are still able to purchase a policy directly on GradGuard's website or through a school form LSU provides to students.
Adams says she hopes students will opt for the insurance since LSU can't always reimburse students when theft or damages occur. Her housing team wants students to understand they will be liable if they decline coverage.
"We want the students to be more proactive and protect themselves," Adams said. "So hopefully, we eliminate fully, but at least limit some of those payouts we make as a university."
Preparing Students for the Future
Insurance is a big part of adult life. Whether it's health, life, or homeowners insurance, these types of policies exist to protect us from life's most unexpected and financially devastating events. Adams believes it's important for higher education officials to explain to students what their options are, not only to educate students, but to protect their campus facilities as well.
"We're always going to be there for our students and try to meet them in the middle, but we also want to prepare them for the future," Adams said. "Renters insurance and protecting yourself is part of life. We want to educate them in every way possible and that's one of our goals with this."
Both schools and students win with a GradGuard partnership. Schools can make fewer payouts to students that cut into already tight budgets, reducing headaches and difficult conversations. And students learn an important financial literacy lesson in insurance and can have peace of mind their belongings are financially protected from theft or damage.
See if your college or university is eligible for a Renters Protection Program with GradGuard.