When the sprinklers went off on the second floor of Butterfield Hall last month, the property of several students was ruined by water damage. A new type of insurance being offered by the College Gradguard is intended to prevent similar personal losses in the future.
GradGuard student property and renters insurance provided by Campus Connexions, the collegiate arm of insurance broker Marsh will protect students from both property damage and liability claims, according to Leslie Seabrook, associate director of Dartmouth”s Risk and Internal Control Services.
The new plan will cost students upwards of $152 per year, she said. The College is one of 15 universities to use Campus Connexions, but it is the first to allow its students to apply for the GradGuard plan and file claims online.
“We tried to expand the website to provide as much service as possible”, Seabrook said. “We wanted to facilitate the process for students to get the insurance quickly and efficiently.”
Marsh provides the majority of insurance purchased by the College, including property and liability insurance, according to Seabrook.
Seabrook said she learned about Campus Connexions in February, and Risk and Internal Control Services personnel met with representatives from the company in late March. The program and website became available to students at the start of Fall term.
GradGuard is the first program offered by the College that provides renters and property insurance. The plan protects items including bicycles, electronics, clothes, books, jewelry and musical instruments that are damaged or stolen, but does not protect them if they are damaged or lost by the owner, according to the GradGuard website.
Students can also get insurance quotes online, according to the GradGuard website. Deductibles and insurance rates are based on New Hampshire laws, the type of rental property and the value of personal property.
The program protects a minimum of $10,000 worth of personal property a year, the website stated. Property coverage carries a $100 deductible but includes personal liability coverage, which pays for injuries or damaged property suffered by people other than the insured individual.
“It”s very cheap insurance, and you can spread out payments,” Seabrook said. “The minimum $10,000 personal property value is adequate for students, and you get reimbursed for things that are worth much more than the $152 you pay yearly.”
When the sprinklers went off in Butterfield, the insurance plan would have covered belongings ruined by the accidental water damage, Seabrook wrote in an e-mail to The Dartmouth.
Greek organizations will also receive more coverage with GradGuard, as the property insurance bought by most fraternities and sororities does not cover personal belongings.
When a fire damaged Phi Delta Alpha fraternity”s physical plant last January, members lost numerous personal items that were not insured by other means, according to Seabrook.
GradGuard was implemented after numerous complications arose when third party organizations wanted to use Dartmouth property, Seabrook said. Three other programs from Campus Connexions have been employed to cover these third-party organizations.
“There would be vendors and contractors who came to us, or individuals who wanted to rent space for weddings or conferences, and we would not hire them or allow them to rent unless they could provide proof of insurance,” Seabrook said. “We can now direct them to the Campus Connexions website and automatically get a certificate that proves they have purchased insurance that meets College requirements.”