Student contents insurance
Student life is demanding enough without having to worry about trying to figure out how contents insurance works. We’re here to simplify it for you.
Read on to find out why and how to get contents insurance if you’re a student, as well as how you might be able to save money on your premiums.
Frequently asked questions
Why do I need student contents insurance?
Students’ possessions can be easy pickings for criminals – around a third of students are likely to be victims of theft or burglary during their time at university.
According to research, students take, on average, between £2,000 and £4,000 worth of belongings to university, and just under half of them don’t have insurance. If you don’t have contents insurance and your items are stolen, you’ll have to replace them with money from your own pocket.
When should I get student contents insurance?
Ideally before term starts – 20% of student thefts happen in the first six weeks of the academic year.
Will I be covered by my parents’ home insurance?
It depends on the type of cover that your parents have. Some contents insurance policies will include cover for your belongings while you’re away from your parents’ home, but others won’t, so it’s vital that you check. If this cover isn’t included as standard, it may be available as an optional add-on to your parents’ policy at an extra cost.
Be aware that this type of cover can come with restrictions, many of which may not be compatible with student life. Important things to look for on your parents’ policy include:
- will you be covered if you live in shared accommodation away from the campus?
- will you need to keep your possessions locked in your own room?
- if you have siblings who are also students, can you all be covered on your parents’ home contents insurance at the same time?
- Does the cover include accidental damage?
Your parents might also want to consider that they could lose their no-claims discount if you make a claim on their policy. This, in turn, could increase their renewal premium.
What should student insurance cover?
There are two types of home insurance: buildings and contents insurance. Because students are renting their accommodation, most will only require contents insurance.
As with any policy, contents insurance comes with exclusions, restrictions and conditions. Some products will also cover accidental damage, which could be invaluable if you have any breakages, while some might offer it as an add-on at an extra cost.
When comparing the right contents insurance for you, take note of the following:
- will you need to have a particular type of lock on your room?
- will the policy include possessions cover outside the home? If not, can you opt for this as an add-on?
- is walk-in theft covered? This would allow you to claim for a burglary even if there’s no sign of forced entry, for example, if you live in student halls and someone lets in a burglar during a party
- How long will it take to get stolen or damaged items replaced? As a student, you can’t afford to wait months for a new laptop when your final dissertation is due
Will high-value items be covered with contents insurance for students?
Most policies will have a maximum limit that any single item can be worth before you need to specify it on the policy (known as a single article limit). You’ll need to check what that limit is (it’s often set at around £1,500) and detail anything that exceeds it.
Although this might increase the cost of your insurance, it could save you money in the long run as replacing these items could be very costly. For bigger items, write down serial numbers and keep your proof of purchase, just in case.
Do I need student contents insurance if I live in a hall of residence?
Some institutions might not offer any cover. Some institutions will arrange contents insurance for students. Others will cover laptops, sports and electrical equipment, and even food and clothes, at no extra cost if you’re living in their accommodation.
Regardless of what is (or isn’t) provided, it’s important to check the wording because your belongings might not be covered if they’re stolen while you’re out and about.
You may be able to fix that by opting for insurance known as ‘personal possessions’ cover. And make sure you’re happy with the level of cover you get. It might be that you have to take out a separate policy for particularly costly items, such as jewellery, gadgets, a bike or particularly expensive musical instruments.
How can I save money on student contents insurance?
- Value your items correctly – too much or too little cover will cost you in the long run
- Increase your excess – the insurance excess is the amount of money that you need to pay in the event of a claim before the insurance provider steps in. So, if you make a claim for £500 and you have a £200 excess, the insurance provider will pay out the balance of £300. There are usually two types of excess – compulsory and voluntary. Increasing the amount of voluntary excess that you’re willing to pay could reduce your premium, although you’ll get less back when you make a claim. What’s important is that you find a level of excess that you’re comfortable paying.
- Pay upfront if you can afford it – although it might be tempting to spread the cost of your insurance by paying monthly, it could cost you more to do so as you may be charged interest on the instalments.
- Install/mention security features – installing certain alarms, and approved door or window locks, could mean that you pay less for your insurance. You’ll be asked about these when getting a quote.
How can I get a good deal on contents insurance if I’m a student?
Some insurance providers may offer home insurance for students that’s tailored to the unique aspects and eccentricities of university life. Just remember to invest a little time in finding the right policy, at a price you can afford. Use our comparison service to help you compare your options and find cover that suits you.