Student contents insurance

When you're studying away from home, the last thing you'll want to think about is insurance. But what if your prized possessions are damaged or stolen?

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Taking out a student contents insurance policy to cover items such as mobiles, laptops, furniture and clothes could bring you peace of mind, and ensure you’re not left out of pocket should the worst happen. Here’s what we think you should know about student contents insurance and the possibility of getting your belongings covered under your parents’ home insurance policy instead.

Why do I need student contents insurance?

Taking out contents insurance for your personal possessions while at university could prove extremely useful in the event something gets damaged in an accident or stolen from your student digs. While your landlord should take care of the buildings insurance, it’s your responsibility to look after your own belongings.

Student housing tends to be located close to campus, which can typically mean it’s central to a city or town. While this is convenient for students getting to and from university, it often means these areas are more of a risk when it comes to crime.

If you’re getting by on a tight budget and couldn’t afford to replace your laptop if it was stolen, then student contents insurance may be an option for you to look into.

What does student insurance cover?

While all student contents insurance policies can differ slightly in what they cover, they will generally protect your personal items against fire, flood or theft.

What isn’t covered by student insurance?

There are key items that are usually not covered by a standard student contents insurance policy. These may include:

  • Gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops and cameras
  • Stolen items where there is no evidence of forced entry
  • Accidental damage
  • Liquid damage
  • Cover for lost keys
  • High-value items
  • Cover outside of term time such as Christmas and New Year

However, you can generally take out additional protection for these items as an optional extra to the standard cover. Most policies will also let you tailor your cover to protect the types of belongings you have. But be sure to do your research before choosing a policy.

When should I get student contents insurance?

You might be wondering when the ideal time is to take out a student contents insurance policy. Essentially, this really depends on your own circumstances but sooner rather than later might be more suitable to ensure your belongings are protected following the initial no-claim period of a policy duration.

During the summer holidays, if you know where you’ll be living and what possessions you’ll have with you, you could ensure all your personal items are all covered for the start of your time at university.

As there’s a greater deal of movement amongst students immediately before and during the start of the academic year in September, thefts are more likely during this period.

How much is student contents insurance?

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your student contents insurance premium, including:

  • The cover option and level you choose. You may have the choice between a number of different levels of cover such as basic, standard or comprehensive. If you choose a lower level of cover, you may see your premium decrease but you should make sure that the cover you have is sufficient for your belongings.
  • Your sum insured. The greater the amount you wish to insure your contents for, the more you can expect to pay for the cover.
  • Security. Security measures such as an alarm system and deadbolts can act as a deterrent to thieves and therefore reduce the cost of your cover.

How can I get my student insurance cheaper?

Only choose cover for items that you own, and try to provide an honest estimate of your combined belongings. Overestimating the value of your possessions will push your premium up while underestimating them could mean a claim doesn’t fully cover the replacement of damaged or stolen items.

Rather than spreading the premium across monthly payments, think about paying for your student contents insurance upfront.
Make sure that your belongings are secure by ensuring doors and windows are locked properly.

You may be able to find cheaper quotes if you choose to buy your insurance policy online. But make sure you read the policy document carefully and are happy with the cover on offer compared to other deals.

Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. There’s no harm in asking!

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