Updated September 2017
The freedom of living away from home and the attractions of student life mean that thinking about insurance can be a low priority. Add to this the need to save money where possible, and it becomes tempting to forget about insurance altogether. Yet, students are three times more likely to be victims of theft or burglary than the average household.
In 2017, many students will have over £2000-worth of gadgets including: mobile phones, laptops, tablets and bikes. Add that to their other belongings, and the value of contents away from home is significant. Can you afford not to have insurance?
Are students covered?
Students living away from home at college or university may be covered under their parents’ home insurance. Most of Lifesure’s home insurance policies will cover students under ‘temporary removal cover’ as long as they lock belongings away when they are unattended.
But, it is well worth checking the specific terms and exclusions of your insurance if your child is heading off this autumn.
Some parents may have concerns about a claim affecting their future premiums and opt for a ‘standalone’ policy. These products can often work out cheaper than upgrading the cover on an existing policy.
But, if you do think about this route, make sure that items such as bicycles and musical instruments are covered (separate insurance may be required if an individual item is particularly valuable). Also check that cover extends throughout the holidays, not just during term-time (also known as ‘year round cover’). All policies will have a limit on the value of any claims, so do a full inventory of the items you are taking with a record of their values. This information will help make sure you are properly covered. Keep in mind that when the values of seemingly small items are added together, it may amount to a larger claim if they are lost at the same time.
Living off campus
Some standalone student policies only protect your valuables in halls or ‘on campus’ houses. If you move to accommodation off campus during your course, confirm with your insurance company that you will still be covered.
Even though you share the same address, everyone in a shared house will need their own contents policy. Your insurance may only extend to items in your own locked room. So be careful about leaving valuables in communal areas as they may not be covered and make sure that your room door can be locked when you are not there.
Unfortunately, in any shared accommodation, incidents of ‘walk-in’ theft are more common, so check that it is included in your policy. You will need to pay a little extra if you want accidental damage and cover away from your accommodation. This could be well worth it, especially if you take any of your gadgets with you whenever you leave the house.
In summary – Not all insurance for students is created equal. Be certain that any insurance you rely on provides the protection you need, before you buy it. Always check the small print, and make sure you understand the claims limits along with the other terms and conditions.
As with many aspects of student life, when it comes to insurance, you get the best results when you do your research, take the necessary precautions and keep an eye on the budget!
Call us on 01480 402460 to discuss your home insurance options with us.