Student contents insurance
A shocking 1 in 3 students will be a victim of crime, according to the Home Office, and students own more expensive consumer goods per head than the rest of the population. Add to this the fact that young people aged 16-24 are about three times more likely to be victims of burglary than people in other age groups, and it's clear that student contents insurance is well worth the investment.
When you're off to start a new university life away from home, however, contents insurance is likely to be the last thing on your mind. But by taking out contents insurance you will have the peace of mind that your belongings are protected against theft, loss and damage.
Student housing is often in urban areas with higher crime rates, and since students are known for having desirable belongings such as laptops, iPods and mobile phones, criminals often target their accommodation.
Who needs student contents insurance?
Going without contents insurance is a very risky business. Many students assume their belongings will be covered by their parents' home insurance policy, but this is unlikely. If you live in an official student halls of residence, your accommodation provider may have arranged some basic insurance for you - but you will need to check, and find out if this is adequate.
If you share private accommodation with a group of students, you will all need to take out individual policies – because it's impossible to insure possessions that belong to someone else.
The cost of student contents insurance
Student content insurance can be relatively cheap, but obviously the level of cover varies from one policy to the next, and cheaper options are usually cheap for a reason!
If you own high value items such as a laptop, check the upper limit that your policy will pay out per single item. Is it enough to cover your more expensive belongings? Check the list of exclusions, too – some do not cover certain items such as mobile phones, bikes or musical instruments, so you may need additional insurance to cover these.
Many student home contents policies offer cover for a flat sum – usually around the £4,000 mark– so you will need to add up the total value of your possessions and work out whether this figure offers enough protection – and look elsewhere if it doesn't.
If your laptop is vital to your studies, find a policy that offers a replacement laptop if yours is lost or stolen.
Accidental damage cover is usually available as an optional add-on, and can be well worth the extra if you live in shared accommodation where items are more likely to get damaged.
- Shop around for the best price for the level of cover you need.
- Consider agreeing to a higher voluntary excess (the amount you have to pay yourself in the event of a claim), because a higher excess reduces the cost of your premiums.
- Try to choose secure accommodation and look after your belongings – you may be able to build up a no-claims discount if you don't need to make a claim.
- Check whether specific door and window locks are required by your insurance provider, and if so make sure you choose accommodation that's fitted with these (or ask your landlord to fit them) – otherwise a claim for burglary could be rejected.