According to the Home Office, young people are more likely to be victims of burglary, and students own more expensive consumer goods per head than the rest of the population. As such, it’s not surprising that students are statistically one of the most likely groups to fall victim to crime, with one in three being affected each year. Given this fact, it makes sense to have your belongings insured.
You may already be covered
Many halls of residence already have contents insurance that automatically covers all tenants. If you live in halls, check your contract to see if you are covered. You may also be covered by your parents’ insurance, as some insurers cover individuals who are away from home.
Finding cheap insurance
Use comparison websites to get an initial idea of the type of insurers around, but also contact insurers themselves. They may give you bigger savings for going to them directly.
As not all insurance policies are the same, decide what is important to you and check that the policy gives you what you need before signing up. The more categories policies include, the higher the price becomes. Some categories you might like to consider are:
Items you carry on your person, such as phones, MP3 players and jewellery (some insurance companies even include your wallet or purse and its contents).
Does the insurance cover you for when you go on holiday, when you are away, and even when moving to a new place? Check carefully.
Accidental damage can put a premium on insurance, so think carefully. Sometimes it’s better and cheaper to buy a new item than it is to claim on an insurance.
Damage to the landlord’s property
If you live in privately rented accommodation and accidentally damage the landlord’s property you will be held liable. Your insurance may not cover this.
Taking out contents insurance against flooding is worth serious consideration, especially if you are in a high risk area. There are many insurance companies that offer products specifically against flooding, but you would need to speak to them directly.
For help finding a list of accredited insurers, visit the ABI website.
Also check and make sure that your landlord has buildings insurance which covers damage caused by flooding, otherwise you may be held responsible.
Compensation for leaving university
Some student insurers will pay some money towards course fees and rent if you have to leave due to an accident or unforeseen event.
Paying the insurance in full when you sign up is always the cheapest option. However setting up direct debits (which can be more expensive long term) can help with managing your money and outgoings.
Reduce the risks
- Make sure you keep doors and windows locked.
- Do not leave valuables out on display in your room or house.
- If you live in halls, keep your room locked when you are in the communal areas.
- Do not let strangers into your halls of residence.
- Protect expensive items.
- Mark your belongings with your initials, postcode or university and student number. That way they will be harder to sell on, so less attractive to thieves, and easier to track down.
- Keep a list of the make, model and serial numbers of electronic items to help the police track them down.
- Do not use your phone when walking about alone at night, and especially when immediately walking out of train or underground stations. If you do lose it, call and cancel it immediately. Making a note of your phone’s IMEI number can help your network operator render the phone useless (even with a SIM swap).