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Shared accommodation home insurance for students

Shared accommodation home insurance for students

At university, many students choose to live with their peers and pals in shared accommodation. So, what’s the correct way to help ensure your stuff is safe from things like fire and theft? Should you get a joint home insurance policy? Or can you be added to a parent’s policy? Let’s look at your options and find out all you need to know to compare student home insurance.

Chris King
From the Home team
minute read
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Posted 8 JANUARY 2020

Do I need home insurance in a shared property?

While you don’t have to have home contents insurance, it’s a good idea to have some financial protection in place, just in case. Whether you have a room in halls, a flat with a lock on your bedroom door or a house share, you’ll probably find that what you share the most (aside from good times) are the bills and a fridge. But your personal items, like phones, laptops and clothing you’ll want to keep to yourself most of the time.

Can I choose a joint policy with my friends?

Not really. If you’re going to take out cover in a shared house or flat it would usually be a policy for your individual items only. Joint policies for shared accommodation aren’t very common unless you jointly own the contents of your home with the friends you live with.

You can get joint policies, but they’re typically only between you and a family member or partner. At Compare the Market, we give you the option to insure the contents of your room to help make sure you get the protection you need for your individual items.

Can I be added to a parent’s policy?

Yes, ask your mum or dad if there’s existing provision for this, or if they can extend their policy to include contents insurance for “students living away from the home” or similar cover. Some policies include this as standard, but with others you may have to add it for an extra premium.

If you move into university or college halls of residence, you may find that they already offer some insurance cover (for fire, flood and theft) for most of the items you keep in your room – but be wary as this often doesn’t extend to cover accidental damage, which may be useful. Also, be mindful that phones and laptops taken outside of a locked room or house aren’t usually covered.

If you take out contents insurance for your room, look for Personal Possessions cover, which is designed to insure things you take out and about with you.

What if I can’t lock my door?

If you’re unable to lock your door, you might still be able to take out a standard contents insurance policy. However, as no forcible entry would be required to access your room, you may find there are some added restrictions on cover for theft or other terms imposed on your policy. If this does happen, your insurance provider will make you aware.

What are the risks in not taking home contents insurance?

Sadly, shared houses in student areas are specific targets for burglars. According to the Office for National Statistics, the group most targeted in the UK is where the principal residents are in the 16-24 age range. There’s also a possibility you may possessions will be damaged in a flood, fire or similar.

What can I do to protect my personal items?

  • Don’t leave expensive items on show in front of windows
  • Leave lights on when you go out (and turn on different ones each time)
  • Get curtains – net or cheap curtains won’t stop prying eyes
  • Don't leave windows open when you go out – even if only for a few minutes
  • Fit a restrictor to your letterbox to prevent anyone putting their hands through the letterbox to retrieve mail or open locks on the door
  • Speak to your local police if they pop by with advice –they’re big on prevention and know students are targets
  • Secure your windows with extra catches and locks, and put a chain on your front door
  • Maintain your front garden – neatness deters while neglect attracts

How do I get a good deal on home contents insurance?

We can help you find a competitive quote by searching our insurance providers and comparing by price, type and range of cover available. Whatever policy you end up taking out, always look at the exclusions and limits to make sure you have cover that’s right for you.

Remember to specify any additional items that you might need covering, such as a bicycle, and add accidental cover if you want to protect your contents against unexpected mishaps at home.

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