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Contents insurance protects your possessions – things like your bike, your phone and your clothes – from theft, fire and accidents.
Students – who tend to either live in large shared halls of residence, or cheaper houses and flats in higher-crime areas – are particularly susceptible to theft, and many feel the need to take out cover on valuable items like laptops, which are vital to completing their degree.
Standard contents insurance will replace items affected by fire, flood and theft. You can also buy add-ons to protect against loss or accidental damage.
Most items are covered by a general policy – you estimate the total value of the contents of your room in halls or shared housing and notify your insurer. Try and be as accurate as possible – if you underestimate what your stuff is worth, you won’t have the full value reimbursed, and if you overestimate it, your premiums will be too high.
Many student insurers provide additional cover options for other eventualities. This cover can include lost keys, or even tuition fees and rent protection. You could also buy tenants’ liability cover to protect your landlord’s property if you accidentally cause damage to its fixtures and fittings.
Gadget insurance covers your gadgets against theft, loss, accidental and liquid damage. Not all insurers cover against all these risks automatically, so it’s worth double-checking.
MoneySuperMarket data from July 2021 showed the average annual cost of contents insurance for 20-24-year olds is £53.61.
Effective security can cut your premiums, so check your landlord has installed suitable burglar and fire alarm systems, and ensure all windows and doors are properly locked before you leave the house.
Most policies include a compulsory excess, which is the amount you must pay towards the cost of any claim you make.
Some insurers let you choose to increase the excess in exchange for a lower monthly premium – but make sure you can comfortably afford to pay the excess if you need to claim.
Next, you should think about your own possessions. What items do you value most? Once you have a clear idea of what you’d like to protect, there are a number of options you might choose.
Insurance can sound complicated, with lots of jargon – and it’s especially difficult when you’re buying it for the first time. So we’ve broken down some of the key terms for you:
It’s easy to compare the cost of student contents insurance policies with MoneySuperMarket’s home insurance comparison tool, looking at price as well as the quality of cover you get, the excess you have to pay and customer reviews.
All you have to do is give a few details about where you live and who you live with, and you’ll be able to browse contents insurance deals from multiple providers.
It’s important to remember that the cheapest deals are by no means the best when you’re considering policy quotes. Always make sure you check any policy documents carefully before taking cover out, as you’ll be able to see exactly what’s included in each deal – and find the student contents insurance policy that’ll protect your home when you need it.
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