Does my contents insurance cover halls of residence?

Ahead of your new adventure at university, it’s important to know that all your belongings are protected in your student room when you get there. We'll take you through how to find out if you're adequately covered.

Ahead of your new adventure at university, it’s important to know that all your belongings are protected in your student room when you get there. We'll take you through how to find out if you're adequately covered.

Chris King
Home insurance expert
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Posted 2 JANUARY 2020

Why do I need contents insurance at university?

Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that younger people – those aged 16-24 – are more likely to be victims of burglary than older age groups.

It’s one of the reasons why having contents insurance to cover your possessions in your hall of residence is a good idea.

As much as you'd like to think nothing bad can happen, imagine if something did get stolen from your student room – would you be covered? If not, could you afford to replace the item?

How do I make sure my possessions are insured in my halls of residence?

First of all, look into policies which may already be in place to see if they cover your belongings – these might include the university's own insurance cover, or your parents' home contents insurance.

The next step is to check the level of cover. How much would they pay out if, for example, your student room got burgled?

You also need to think about whether you have any particularly valuable items that may need to be listed separately on a policy, for example an expensive camera or laptop.

What do university insurance policies cover?

You’ll find that many universities have some cover in place that could protect some of your possessions kept in student halls of residence. You’ll need to request a copy of their policy details to find out if this is the case.

You’ll often find possessions covered (against loss by fire, flood and theft) in halls include:

  • gadgets, including computer equipment
  • audio equipment
  • valuables and jewellery
  • musical instruments
  • sports equipment
  • photographic equipment
  • clothes

As every policy will be different, it's important to ask your new university if they have an insurance policy and what it covers.

University and college insurance policies often include 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.

What about my parents’ home insurance?

If you find that your place of study doesn’t have adequate cover (or you’re a student not living in university accommodation) you might want to check your parents’ home contents insurance policy. It may include, or could be extended to include, cover for your possessions while you’re away in student digs.

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 contents insurance quotes.

Which items are not covered by my home 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.

How much cover do I need?

If you've found that you do have cover through your university or parents' home contents insurance, 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 possessions, such as a new laptop, digital camera 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 (this is often around £1,500, but can be lower). So make sure you check whether you need to list any individual valuable possessions separately on the policy.

What if the university's insurance doesn’t cover my new laptop?

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

What else should I keep in mind when sorting out contents insurance for university?

  • 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 policy.

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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