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LA Times, Kathy Kristof

"'Getting insurance to cover your stuff is generally not at the top of the list for the typical college freshman,' said Candysse Miller, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Network of California, which represents insurers. But if you think about what you bring into a dorm room these days — computers, stereo systems, cell phones, iPods and tons of other stuff — you realize you've got thousands of dollars at stake.'

'In addition, homeowner policies generally cover specified "perils" — most commonly fire, theft, wind and rain,' said Chris Heidrick, vice president of personal insurance at Fireman's Fund. 'What they don't cover is damage caused by the customer's own mistakes or carelessness...

'...If I'm riding across campus and my computer falls out of my backpack, that's not covered under a homeowner's policy,' added Heidrick, whose company offers policies through College Student Insurance Agency. 'It would be covered under the student policy.'"

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