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Student contents insurance: does it cover halls of residence?

If you’re going to be living in halls of residence while you’re at uni, you’re going to need to know if all your belongings are insured. Here’s how to find out whether you’ve got the cover you need and how to arrange it if you haven’t.

If you’re going to be living in halls of residence while you’re at uni, you’re going to need to know if all your belongings are insured. Here’s how to find out whether you’ve got the cover you need and how to arrange it if you haven’t.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Reviewed by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
5 min read
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Why do I need contents insurance at university?

Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that there were more than a quarter of a million burglaries in the year leading up to March 2021. And with younger adults being more likely to be victims of crime than older age groups, it’s a really good idea to have contents insurance to cover all your possessions while you’re living in university accommodation.

It could mean that if something is stolen from your room – like your phone or your laptop – you won’t have to pay to replace it.

Are my possessions insured at my halls of residence?

Your first step is to ask your parents to check whether your belongings are covered by their home contents insurance. You should also find out whether any insurance for student housing, included in the fee you pay to live in halls, covers your possessions.

If you are insured, the next step is to check the level of cover. How much would the insurance pay out if, for example, your student room got burgled?

You also need to think about whether you have any expensive bits of kit that may need to be listed separately on a policy, for example, a high-spec camera, laptop or musical instrument.

If you don’t have any contents insurance through your parents or via your student accommodation, it’s easy to arrange your own.

What do university insurance policies cover?

Many universities will include some contents insurance for students living in university halls. Check the terms of your agreement or ask your accommodation provider.

If cover is included, ask for a copy of the policy details.

Typically, policies will cover the following items from theft as well as damage by fire or flood:

  • Valuables and jewellery
  • Computers – including your laptop
  • Phones
  • Audio equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports equipment
  • Cameras
  • Clothes.

University and college insurance for student halls often includes other useful cover, such as:

  • Damage to your items due to faulty laundry equipment or broken fridges and freezers
  • Theft of items from communal areas if there are signs of forced entry
  • Theft of your bag and contents while in transit between home and halls.

For a more comprehensive look at what is and isn’t usually covered by student contents insurance, read our downloadable guide to student home insurance.

How much cover do I need?

Whether you’re covered through your university or parents’ home contents insurance, or you’re arranging your own, you need to make sure you’re happy with the maximum amount that the insurance provider will pay out. This is especially important if you have any particularly valuable items, such as a new laptop or jewellery.

Most policies have a maximum amount that they will pay out for any single item before you need to specify it separately on the policy. It’s usually around the £1,500 mark but can be lower, so do check.

Anything worth more than the single-item limit could be covered, but you’ll need to tell your insurance provider about it and pay a bit extra to have it listed separately.

Which items are not covered by my contents insurance?

You might find that mobile phones, cash, credit cards and other valuables are excluded from your home insurance (unless they’re stolen via forced entry to your room).

You usually have to add on cover if you have a bike you want to insure. You might also want to consider adding personal possessions insurance, which offers cover for the belongings you take with you when you’re out and about.

You should also check if you have accidental damage cover, which could cover accidents such as spilling a drink over your laptop.

If the policy covers everything apart from an expensive laptop or other tech, consider taking out separate gadget insurance.

Am I covered by my parents’ home insurance?

Your parents’ home contents insurance may include, or could be extended to include, cover for your possessions while you’re studying away from home.

If this isn’t possible, don’t worry, you can always arrange your own policy to get the protection that you need for your possessions. Compare home insurance quotes

Student contents insurance tips

  • Make sure you value your contents adequately, don’t just guess. You’d be surprised at how quickly it all adds up.
  • If you’re arranging your own policy, pay for it in one go if you can. It’s usually cheaper than paying monthly, as monthly payments usually include interest.
  • Make sure your possessions are still covered during the holidays – check your policy.
  • Keep your room locked when you’re not in it – you might not be able to claim on your contents insurance if your belongings are stolen and there’s no sign of a break-in.
  • Have a look at the process you need to go through to make a claim. There’s usually a section that explains how to do this in your paperwork on the provider’s website.
  • Shop around – compare policies to find a deal that gives you the cover you want and suits your budget.

Lots of insurance providers offer home insurance tailored to cover many aspects of student life. Use our contents insurance comparison service to help you find the level of cover you need, at the right price for you.

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Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Rachel Lacey - Insurance and money expert

Rachel’s a self-confessed money nerd who’s been writing about personal finance for more than 20 years. She spent 17 years writing for Moneywise, including a few years as Editor, and likes making complicated subjects like insurance, pensions, investing and tax, easy for people to understand.

Learn more about Rachel

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