Student houses and halls of residence can be easy targets for thieves not only because students tend to be a little more relaxed about security than your average household, but also because they can be more anonymous (especially in larger halls) and get their hands on far more high value items than the average house would typically hold.
For anyone, student or not, replacing everything you own would be unaffordable which is why student contents insurance is such a must for anyone living away from home while they study.
If you're not convinced it's worth spending on, think about the value of your belongings and you might be surprised, especially if you have electrical devices such as a laptop, tablet computer, TV and smartphone. Could you afford to replace them all if they were stolen?
Not all home insurance policies offer the right kind of insurance for students, particularly those living in shared accommodation. We take a look at the different options for student home insurance and run through how to get the best deal.
Is contents insurance for students an essential?
Studies have shown that the value of the average students possessions that they take to university comes to between £2000 and £6000, without taking into account further purchases that may be made such as white goods.
Many students rely on their laptops to complete their coursework and access key material; what would you do if yours got damaged? Would you be able to afford to immediately replace such a valuable piece of kit?
Whilst there are many advantages to sharing accommodation, it does increase the risk of accidents and theft so it's important you make sure you protect what's important to you.
While no form of contents insurance is essential (unlike the buildings insurance you have to have if you own a house) it's definitely a good idea to have a decent policy in place.
Different types of insurance for university students
There are several different options open to students who want to protection their possessions.
Potentially the cheapest student contents insurance is by simply extending their parents' home insurance. Some providers are willing to include cover for students possessions under a standard policy but in reality, the protection you get will be very limited.
Most types of extended policies only pay out in very restricted circumstances and may require that you live on campus to qualify. If you are staying in shared accommodation elsewhere, or want to be certain that your possessions are protected no matter what happens you might be better off taking out your own student accommodation insurance. This also means that your parents' home insurance premiums won't be affected if you do need to claim.
Contents insurance for students in a shared house needs to take into account what each individual owns and then separate policies taken out accordingly. An alternative is a joint student shared house contents insurance policy. This names you and your housemate jointly and all the possessions get insured under one policy. This can be a simpler option but requires an element of trust between you and your co-policy holders. It'll also link you financially which isn't always a good thing.
If you don't want to insure the whole house (something that's not really worthwhile if you keep most of your belongings in your room), a good option is student room insurance. This type of specialist student insurance is designed to provide cover for the belongings which are contained within your room only. The amount of insurance is usually set relatively low as it is intended to cover possessions such as clothes, computer, TV and music system. You can add on your laptop, phone and iPod etc so that these will be covered in shared areas too.
How to find the best student insurance UK
The first thing you need to do is make a list of everything you plan to take with you to university then work out its approximate value.
If you're in halls then student room insurance should suffice but if you're in a shared student house insurance is something you're best discussing with your house mates.
Once you have decided on the type of insurance policy you want, you will be able to find the best price available by carrying out a home insurance for students comparison. However, before you compare student contents insurance home quotes, make sure you understand the limitations of the cover.
For example, mobile phones are often not included in student possessions insurance and any loss or theft which occurs on the premises may be specifically excluded. Accidental damage and bicycles are another frequent exclusion. You can get cover for these but you'll need to specify them on your policy.
If you are looking for room insurance, you will need to have an approved lock on your door in order to be eligible. The insurer will specify what you need in order to meet their requirements. It's also likely you'll need to keep your room locked at all times to be protected.
Compare student insurance quotes and check everything you own will be protected and that the exclusions and terms are reasonable.
Once you know that you are getting the cover for the items you need and that you tick all of the boxes, you can go ahead with applying for the insurance that you think best suits your needs.