My Dad wants me to buy renter insurance before going on to college. I’m kind of short on cash so do I really need that expense?

You lucky gal! Keep your money for your next trip home from college. Most insurance companies will consider you a resident of your parents’ home so long as you are under 25. Once you become 25 and are away from parents’ residence you must purchase your own coverage. Remember, you are only covered for the same perils as your parents’ policy covers. Mysterious disappearance of your ten speed or computer isn’t going to be covered unless you had purchased an inland marine rider expressly covering the bike or computer, then there are additional perils allowed for. Talk to your agent.