If you are preparing to go to university, insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. But did you know that young people are three times more likely to be victims of burglary and that one in three university students are victims of crime each year? The figures highlight the importance of student contents insurance for your possessions.
Students in rented accommodation often think their contents are covered by their landlord, or even by their parents' home insurance. Some insurers will add students to their parents' contents policy, but it is not automatic and it might be restricted. It can also work out cheaper for students to take out their own cover. Remember that if you share accommodation with other students, you should each take out your own contents policy.
You might think you can do without student contents cover because you don't own any valuable possessions, but you should think again. Could you afford to replace your laptop, mobile phone or iPod if it was stolen? Research suggests that the average student now has belongings worth more than £4000, which makes insurance a must-have.
What does student contents insurance cover?
Student contents insurance should cover your belongings against loss or damage caused by theft, fire, vandalism, storm, flood and burst pipes. Some policies allow you to select the items you want to insure. Cover for valuables such as computer equipment is essential, but don't forget that the value of smaller items can quickly add up. Most policies set limits on the size of any claims, so make sure the limits are adequate.
Are there any exclusions?
Many students own a bicycle, musical instrument, or both & and they can be worth a lot of money. However, some policies don't cover bikes and instruments as standard, so you need to check the details.
Also check whether your home contents insurance policy covers your belongings during the holidays, as it might be restricted to term time
Another common exclusion is 'walk-in theft' where there is no evidence of forced entry. If you live in shared accommodation or halls of residence, you might want to arrange cover for walk-in theft as it can be easy for thieves to gain access to the premises without force.
Is there anything I should add to my policy?
Most insurers will extend the policy to cover accidental damage. It might cost a bit more, but it often proves a useful addition to student contents insurance. If you have a party in your room, for example, it's not hard to imagine that something could get broken.
You might also want to consider insurance for your possessions when they are not in your home. Recent research suggests that students carry belongings worth £1300 when they are walking around town or campus.