5 Steps to Protect Yourself From Theft on Campus

Protecting your valuables at college

As much as we may like to think that it will never happen to us, the unfortunate fact of the matter is that theft is a real thing that happens to the best of people.

And especially in such a closed in environment as a college campus, it can be a breeding ground for thieves. In fact, a public safety officer of Arizona State University described the campus “a Mall for Thieves”. In fact, campus crime is a major issue.

The most comprehensive analysis by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting recorded approximately 73,545 university and campus crimes in 2014.

Living independently – on campus or off – brings new forms of risk to college life and it is important to recognize that you are responsible for your personal property as well as any damage you may create.

It is important to note that colleges report that they do not replace stolen student property.  As a result, many schools recommend their campus residents purchase renters insurance from GradGuard.Renters-97% of housing-do-not-replace-computers and bikes renters factoids

However, there are a few things you can do to ensure your peace of mind – and your stuff – stays intact.

1. Lock your doors. It seems like common sense, right? However, a lot of people don’t feel the need to lock their doors often. Certainly, your door doesn’t need to be locked 24/7, but if you or your roommates are sleeping, or are not going to be home, it really is essential. It takes a few extra seconds, but can mean the difference to coming home to your Macbook, television, and Xbox, or coming home to an empty room. The same goes for your car doors, too!
2. Don’t advertise. In college, it’s inevitable that you’re going to be bringing some expensive equipment with you. Having a laptop is essential, and there are often many other items that would cost a pretty penny to replace. So, while you can’t avoid having them with you, you can avoid what you broadcast about them. You don’t need to be shouting about how expensive your stereo or computer were, or how you just got that new state of the art gaming system. This is like a big red flag for thieves, and it’s not all that hard for them to figure out where you live once they’re interested. Be smart about what you say to whom.

3. Write down serial numbers and take an inventory. In the unfortunate event that you are a victim of theft, it’s a good idea to have a list of your electronics’ serial numbers tucked away in a safe place. This can often help the odds of getting a stolen item back, as the police have a definitive idea of which is yours. Also, if you take an inventory of your belongings, which you should store online or in the cloud, you’ll know exactly what you’ve lost, so it is easier to replace in an insurance claim or easily for the authorities to track down.

4. Lock it up. Often in college, there is a need to have important documents such as your birth certificate, social security card, or papers from banks and loan lenders handy. However, if these are stolen, it can spell disaster. The best bet is to purchase an inexpensive lock box, preferably a fire proof one, to keep all of your important documents and artifacts in. For added protection, you can even purchase a bike lock and chain it to your bed or a shelf in your closet to be certain it can’t be removed from your room by anyone but yourself. The same goes for bikes themselves, too. You have to chain your bike up or it will almost be guaranteed to disappear.

5. Get Protected with Renters insurance. Renter’s insurance for students is really a smart idea.  Not all plans are the same.  Many renters plans available through the internet have a high deductible.  Starting at $500 it doesn’t cover the smaller claims and provide much value to students.  In addition, other plans require good credit or a credit check to secure coverage.

GradGuard’s™ renters insurance program is the only one that includes Exclusive Student Endorsement in each policy that contains unique college benefits such as:

  • Campus residents can receive preferred pricing (10-15% lower than standard rates)
  • All residents of campus housing will be approved – no individual credit checks
  • Full replacement coverage & world-wide property coverage
  • Affordable deductibles starting at $100.

Be sure to protect yourself both with both renters insurance and with good habits.