A simples guide

What home insurance do students need?

Heading off to university’s the first chance of real freedom most of us get.

We’re away from mum and dad’s house rules, there’s no curfew and it’s an opportunity to just try and get away with stuff that we’d never dream of doing at home (as long as it’s legal, obviously).

But in all that excitement, it’s easy to forget some of the more fundamental things such as insurance – but do so at your peril, one third of students fall victim to theft and burglary and 20% of those crimes occur in the first six weeks of term so make sure it’s top of your ‘to do’ list.

Aren’t I covered by my parent’s home insurance policy?

You may not be – it all depends on what your parent’s policy states. Some policies will include cover for your belongings whilst you’re away in halls as standard, but others won’t, so it’s vital to check first. But just be aware, if you’re covered on your parent’s policy and you do make a claim – it could affect their no claims bonus and therefore, their future premiums.

You’ll also need to check the wording on any standard home insurance policy carefully. Some may not cover your belongings if they are damaged or stolen outside of your room, or policies may stipulate that a lock must be used at all times with payouts only being made when there has been a forced entry. If you’re privately renting with fellow students – locks on your bedroom doors might not be an option. 

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What should I consider when choosing student home insurance?

If you’re not covered by your parent’s home insurance policy or it’s not adequate, check if your university includes insurance for its halls of residence. Some universities will cover laptops, sports and electrical equipment and even food and clothes at no extra cost if you’re living in their accommodation. Again, it’s important to check the wording because your belongings might not be covered if they’re taken whilst outside of your room. Also make sure you’re happy with the level of cover you do get, particularly if you have expensive items such as a musical instrument. If your university or parents policy doesn’t cover you then you’ll need to take out contents insurance to cover you. It might be that you have to take out a separate policy for particularly costly items.

You’ll also need to check the time period for which your policy covers you for, as some may only cover you during term time. Some policies may also have clauses about how long you can leave your belongings in an unattended property for, so it’s worth making sure of the details before you go home for the holidays.

You might also choose to insure your belongings for ‘accidental damage’ But make sure that you’re clear about what your insurer considers to be ‘accidental’. Damage as a result of ‘reckless’ behaviour will usually not be covered – that means not using your laptop bag (with laptop in it) as a toboggan back home after a night at the student union.

How much does student content insurance cost?

It depends on the policy you opt for and it’s worth making sure that you don’t scrimp when it comes to valuing your things. You might be surprised to know that students own about £4,000 worth of stuff. If you are worried about the cost spiralling, read our top tips on how to lower the cost of your insurance:

  • Increase your excess – you can choose to increase your voluntary excess (the amount you pay towards any claim) which may lower your premium, however there is a flip side – make sure you can actually afford the excess if you do claim
  • Accurately value – stand back and objectively assess what you’ve got, some things are worth insuring but think carefully about whether you really need to insure that old mobile your mum gave you three Christmases ago
  • Stay safe – always be careful with your stuff, lock your room when you’re not in it and don’t tempt green eyed monsters – if you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it
  • Pay up front – if you can, pay for your policy upfront, you’ll avoid any interest charges

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We love insurance and while we know that you probably don’t love it as much as we do, we’re pretty sure you love getting a good deal. As one of Britain’s largest comparison sites we’re confident we can find you the right policy at the best price – there’s no 2:2 ways about it, comparing the market with us is simply first class.

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