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Student contents insurance isn’t compulsory, but it can make good financial sense to take out a policy during the time you’re studying at university.
Student accommodation can provide rich pickings for thieves, with many students owning a variety of valuable items such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Having student contents insurance in place will ensure you don’t have to cover the cost of replacing your belongings yourself if they were lost, stolen, or damaged.
Student insurance works in much the same way as standard contents insurance and will protect your belongings within your university accommodation against fire, theft, and flood. Student insurance policies vary in terms of what they cover, but will typically include books, clothes, jewellery, furniture, and some electrical items.
For high-value items such as bikes, gadgets, and musical instruments, you will often need to take out additional cover.
It’s important to read the small print of your student insurance policy carefully, but you’ll usually find it contains the following exclusions:
A quick and easy way to find the best student insurance policy is to shop around and compare quotes – you could also earn up to £28 cashback.
If you’re able to, paying for your student insurance in one go each year will be cheaper than paying in monthly instalments.
The excess is the amount you’ll need to pay towards the cost of any claim you make, and you’ll usually be able to adjust this when you compare insurance quotes. By increasing your excess, you’ll bring down the cost of your premiums. However, it’s crucial that your excess is still affordable – after all, if you make a claim, you’ll have to pay it.
If you have the option of adding extra cover to your policy, make sure you only pay for what you really need.
Having the correct locks on doors and windows to reduce the chance of a break-in could also help to lower your premiums.
When applying for student insurance you’ll usually have the option to bolt on additional cover for an extra fee. Typical add-ons include:
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Some university accommodation will arrange contents insurance for you, while others won’t. If you are offered cover, it’s important to check exactly what is included and whether you need to take out additional insurance to ensure your belongings are fully protected – for example, you might need personal possessions cover to protect any items you take out and about with you.
This will depend on the type of insurance policy your parents have, so you’ll need to check their policy terms and conditions. Some insurance policies will cover your belongings while you’re away at university, others will offer cover as an optional extra, and some won’t provide cover at all.
If you are able to get cover through your parents’ insurance make sure you check for any exclusions. Some policies will only provide cover if your belongings are locked away in your own room, for example.
Most student insurance policies will include what’s known as a single item limit. This is simply the maximum amount an insurer will pay out for any one item. Typically this is around £1,000 to £1,500 but you’ll need to check your policy to be sure. Any items worth more than this must be named separately on your policy.
It’s best to buy cover before term starts so that you’re covered as soon as the academic year begins.
No, you won’t usually need buildings insurance as this will be the responsibility of whoever owns the building – whether that’s the university or landlord.
This will depend on the policy. Some student insurance policies may include mobile phones and/or laptops as standard providing they are not worth more than the single item limit, but you won’t usually be covered if you take those items outside your accommodation unless you also have personal possessions over.
In many cases you’ll be required to add gadget insurance to your policy if you want to fully protect your mobile phone and laptop.
New-for-old cover will replace any items that are stolen or damaged with brand-new items of equivalent value. Alternatively, you can take out indemnity cover – or wear and tear cover – which will be cheaper, but this only covers you for the current value of your possessions.
The easiest way to accurately estimate how much your belongings are worth is to add up the value of all the items you have in your room, including clothes, gadgets and course books.
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*51% of customers received a quote of £129.12 or less for buildings and contents insurance in August 2021 when using Quidco Compare home insurance.