Do I Need Student Contents Insurance?
Student contents insurance can help give you added peace of mind during the excitements and stresses of moving away to university, safe in the knowledge that your most valuable items are covered come what may. Find out more about how it works below.
Going to university is all about new experiences. And arguably none is bigger than living away from home for the first time.
Not only does this involve negotiating housemates, paying rent and managing your budget, but things you have likely never considered, such as learning how to protect your possessions.
Student contents insurance, also known as student possessions insurance, is hardly the most glamourous part of university life. However, with the number of expensive electricals you will likely take to uni, and the fact that student areas can often be targeted by burglars, student contents insurance can prove to be a life saver in the event that your belongings are lost, stolen or damaged. It can even cover damages to your rented property.
Read on to find out what is covered by student house contents insurance, and how to apply.
What is covered by student contents insurance?
When considering student contents insurance, the most important point to understand is that it will only cover theft, loss or damage while your belongings are in your term-time home, be that halls of residence or private rented accommodation. Whether you can make a claim outside of term-time will depend on the provider.
If your possessions are lost, damaged or stolen outside of your named student address, you will not be able to make a claim under a standard policy. It is possible, however, to extend your coverage to outside of your student home for an added cost.
You will also only be insured up to a certain amount. For example, your student contents insurance might cover loss, damage or theft to your possessions up to a limit of £2,000, or it could stretch to as much as £15,000.
And if you live in shared accommodation, you and your housemates will each need their own individual contents insurance policy.
While other details will vary from provider to provider, you should ideally be on the lookout for insurance that includes:
Laptop, mobile phone and gadget cover
Typically, student contents insurance will cover items such as clothes, books, sports equipment and some electronics. However, many student contents insurance policies will not cover high-risk electricals, such as laptops and smartphones, as standard. This can also be true of items like instruments and bicycles.
It is therefore important to check whether such high-value items are included in the policy, or whether you need to pay extra for them to be covered.
Tenant’s liability and accidental damage to landlords’ property
It’s not just your own possessions that can get damaged while you are at university. From house parties to a spilled mug of coffee, there are a variety of ways in which your private rented accommodation can suffer.
That is why you should try and find a student contents insurance policy that includes cover for tenant’s liability and accidental damage to a landlords’ property, such as fixtures and fittings.
Walk-in theft cover
As standard, most student contents insurance policies will only payout for thefts where there is evidence of forced entry. This means if there is no lock on your bedroom door, for example, you cannot make a claim.
However, it is possible to find policies that include ‘walk-in theft’ cover. This means even if there is no lock on your bedroom door, or evidence of forced entry, you are still entitled to make a claim.
Are students covered by their parents’ contents insurance?
If your parents or guardian has home insurance or contents insurance, it is worth checking whether it also extends to your student address.
These policies might not be as extensive as dedicated student contents insurance, however, so you should make sure to thoroughly compare the two options before making a decision.
Similarly, some university-owned residences, such as halls of accommodation, may also come with contents insurance. Again, you should check what is and isn’t covered, and whether you would feel more secure with your own insurance policy.
How to apply for student contents insurance
To apply for student contents insurance, you need to be a full-time student in the UK, living away from home.
To get a quote, you will need to submit your details, such as your name, email address, and student home address to the insurance provider.
You will also need to choose the sum you would like to be insured up to, and declare any high value items such as mobile phones and laptops. To decide the appropriate sum, calculate the cost of the belongings you have taken with you to university.
It is a good idea to shop around for the best quote, though remember: cheaper is not always better. A bargain basement student contents insurance policy that doesn’t cover the items you would want replacing won’t be worth much at all.
Image source: Getty Images
Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more