Student contents insurance

Enjoy a whole year of Meerkat Meals & Meerkat Movies*

Get cheap student home insurance

Student life is demanding enough without having to figure out how contents insurance works. We’re here to simplify it for you. 

Read on to find out how to get contents insurance if you’re a student, as well as how you might be able to save money on your premiums.

Do students need contents insurance?

Students’ possessions can be easy pickings for criminals. And when you add in a laptop and clothes, the value can be significant. If you don’t have contents insurance and your items are stolen or damaged, you’ll have to replace them with money from your own pocket.

When should I get student contents insurance?

Ideally before term starts – that way you’re covered as soon as the academic year begins.

What does student home contents insurance cover?

This will vary among insurance providers but, in most cases, your policy will cover you for any damage or theft of your belongings that takes place within your accommodation. Keep in mind that not all high-value items, such as laptops and bicycles, will be automatically included in the cover. You may need to call these out separately as valuable items on your policy, so it’s worth checking with your provider.

You’ll also need to check whether you’re covered for accidental damage, which could be invaluable if you break something. Some insurance providers will also offer lost keys cover and tenant’s liability cover as standard or as optional add-ons.

With so many variations in terms of what’s covered and what’s not, it’s important to compare policies to find the right student content insurance for you.

Will high-value items be covered by 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.

Do I need student contents insurance if I live in a hall of residence?

Some universities will arrange contents insurance for students, but some might not offer any cover. 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 cover 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 accurately – 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 if you make 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 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.
  • Compare – if the goal is to save money on contents insurance for students, use our comparison service. We could help you find a great deal that offers the level of cover you need.

Frequently asked questions

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 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.

Are mobile phones covered by student contents insurance?

Some insurance providers include mobile phones in their contents insurance for students, while others don’t. In many cases, the mobile phone can be included in the policy if its value is less than the single item limit. However, it will usually only be covered if it’s stolen from your student accommodation during a break-in. It probably won’t be covered if it’s damaged, lost or stolen when you’re out and about – unless you add personal possessions cover outside of the home to your policy.

If your mobile phone is quite expensive or you’re just looking for added peace of mind, you could take out mobile phone insurance. But please note that you can’t currently compare standalone mobile phone insurance with Compare the Market.

What is a policy excess?

A policy excess is the amount you need to pay when you make a claim on your student contents insurance. There’ll usually be a compulsory excess and a voluntary excess. The compulsory excess is set by the insurance provider, while you’ll typically have the opportunity to choose your voluntary excess.

Do students need buildings insurance?

Typically, no. There are two types of home insurance: buildings and contents insurance. Because students rent their accommodation, most will only require contents insurance. It’s usually the responsibility of the landlord to organise buildings insurance, unless stated otherwise.

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 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.

How much does student contents insurance cost?

50% of people could achieve a quote of £70 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.

What do I need to get a quote?

Getting a quote for your contents insurance is quick and easy. Just tell us a bit about:

  • what type of insurance you want
  • when you want your policy to start
  • the property you’ll be living in
  • what you’d like included in your policy – like cover for your bicycle, valuable items and accidental damage cover
  • your personal details

We’ll then show you a list of insurance policies to choose from.

Start a quote

Why use Compare the Market?

We compare prices for 75 home insurance products** 95.5% of customers found our home insurance experience easy or very easy.*** Get a quote in 11 minutes^^

**Correct as of February 2020.
***For the period 1st December 2020 to 29th February 2020, 1,263 people responded to the question “When completing a quote using CtM, how did you find it?” 1,206 responded with ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ (95.5%)
^^On average it can take less than 11 minutes to complete a home insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in February 2020.

Start a quote

Home insurance providers

We compare prices for 75** home insurance products from leading providers including Churchill, M&S Bank, Legal and General, and more.

Chris King

From the Home team

What our expert says

"You’ll need lots of kit when you go to university, so it’s worth safeguarding it with the right contents insurance. That way, if something does get stolen or damaged you won’t have to make a dent in your student finances to replace it."