A Guide to Students Contents Insurance

As you compile a moving to university checklist, insurance likely plays second fiddle to more glamourous priorities, such as laptops, clothes, and other essentials. While contents insurance may not be the most exciting part of your move, it is certainly one of the most valuable.

Students residing at The Stay Club must take out their own personal contents insurance before commencing their stay. But why is content insurance for students so important? This helpful guide will go through the ins and outs of student content insurance.

What Is Student’s Contents Insurance?

Student content insurance is a form of financial protection for those in higher education. Much like regular home and contents insurance, contents cover for students provides a safety blanket, typically safeguarding all the essentials of student life against theft or unavoidable damage while living in your new student accommodation. From electronic gadgets to books and clothes, most student content insurance policies cover the cost of missing valuables.

Contents insurance for students is of particular importance for those living in shared accommodation. Most university halls or private student accommodations do not include individual contents insurance as standard. Those that do tend to offer extremely basic, paper-thin covers. As such, it is the responsibility of each student to take out individual policies for content that they own.

Do I Need Contents Insurance?

Contents insurance is one of the most important purchases a student can make. Amidst the excitement of the big move, it’s easy to lose track of your vulnerability at this time. Put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. New students moving to an unfamiliar city armed with a treasure chest of pricey gadgets are bound to be prime targets. Factor in lapsed security measures, and your belongings could be easy pickings. Without contents insurance in place, the cost of replacing lost essentials comes from your own pocket.

With students in the crosshairs of thieves, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Research suggests that students aren’t heeding that warning, however, with 36% admitting to leaving their property unlocked when going out, and the same percentage have been victims of theft. Equally concerning, over a third of students aren’t covered by contents insurance. This provides an open goal for criminals who prey on student housing, where security may be an afterthought. Taking out a student’s contents insurance policy is the only way to ensure your belongings are covered should the worst happen.

When Should I Buy Student’s Contents Insurance?

The ideal time to buy student content insurance is before you move into your student accommodation or at the beginning of the academic year. This will ensure that your personal belongings are protected from the moment you move in and throughout your time at the university.

Are Students Already Covered By Their Parent’s Home Contents Insurance?

Make sure you check your parents’ home contents insurance before taking the plunge on the cover of your own. Students who are covered under their parent’s home insurance may be in line to save some cash. While it’s increasingly becoming uncommon for insurance companies to offer student coverage, there are some exceptions. Get your parents to give their insurance provider a call to check – they may even be able to extend their policy and get you a better deal.

Being covered on your parent’s home insurance is a double-edged sword, however. On one hand, the generally cheaper overall cost is a big tick in the pro column. On the other, a claim could bump up their annual premium. The excess cost is also typically higher compared to a standard student contents insurance policy. If your belongings are covered by your parent’s insurance, it’s worth weighing up whether it’s actually the best cover for you.

Do I Need Student Contents Insurance if I Live at Home?

If you are living at home and your parents have a homeowner’s insurance policy that includes contents coverage, your possessions may be covered under that policy. However, you should check with your parents’ insurance provider to confirm what is covered and the extent of the coverage.

What Does Student’s Contents Insurance Cover?

What students’ contents insurance policies cover usually differs between providers. While the basics of contents cover, namely theft, flood, and fire damage, may appear straightforward at first glance, their definitions muddy the water. The case in point is theft. Most student content policies only cover forced entry theft and won’t pay out if your valuables aren’t secured. Search for student insurance providers who offer walk-in theft cover for a more comprehensive package.

Typically, student’s contents insurance covers:

  1. Personal belongings: This includes items such as electronics, textbooks, clothing, bedding, furniture, and other personal belongings.

  2. Laptop and gadgets: Student contents insurance can cover laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices.

  3. Sports equipment: If you are an athlete, your sports equipment, such as bicycles, surfboards, and other sports gear, may also be covered.

  4. Loss of documents: If you lose important documents such as your passport or university ID, student’s contents insurance may cover the cost of replacing them.

  5. Alternative accommodation: If your accommodation becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event such as a fire, your student’s contents insurance may cover the cost of alternative accommodation while repairs are being carried out.

It is important to read your insurance policy carefully to understand exactly what is covered and any limits or exclusions that may apply. 

What Does Students’ Contents Insurance Not Cover?

There are some things that your insurance may not cover, including:

  1. Wear and tear: Student contents insurance typically does not cover damage that occurs due to normal wear and tear.

  2. Intentional damage: If you intentionally damage your own property, student contents insurance may not cover the cost of repair or replacement.

  3. Accidental damage: For an additional cost, however, many providers offer it as an extra feature. Examples of policies which do include accidental damage, such as HSBC’s, tend to have a cost limit and cover cheaper items, such as mirrors. Good news for those who are susceptible to the odd mishap.

  4. Damage caused by a pet: If you have a pet that damages your personal belongings, this may not be covered by student contents insurance.

  5. Negligence: If you are found to be negligent in the way you use or care for your personal belongings, this may not be covered by student contents insurance. For example, leaving a laptop unattended in a public place could be considered negligent.

  6. High-value items: Some student contents insurance policies may have limits on the value of individual items that can be covered. If you have high-value items such as jewellery or artwork, you may need to purchase additional coverage.

  7. Loss of money: Student contents insurance typically does not cover the loss of cash, although some policies may provide a limited amount of coverage.

If you are unsure about what is covered, you should contact your insurance provider for clarification.

What Is A Student’s Contents Insurance Policy Excess?

The excess on contents insurance for university students is a pre-agreed fee that will be deducted from your payout should you make a claim. As an example, if you have an excess of £30 and your belonging is covered for £1000, your total payout will be £970. Typically, there are two types of insurance excess – voluntary and compulsory. Ensure that you’re fully clued up on your insurance policy excess before signing off on any contents cover.

A high excess isn’t necessarily bad news, although it can be a gamble. In essence, the higher the excess, the lower your premium, or the cost of the policy, will be. If your chances of making a claim are slim, then go for a higher excess. However, if claims are likely, and if waking up with lost keys and a smashed phone screen is a common occurrence, keep your excess to a minimum.

How Much Does Student Contents Insurance Cost?

Knowing how much student content insurance should cost gives you a ballpark figure of the going rate. According to MoneySupermarket, the average annual content insurance cost for 20-24-year-olds is £63.18. This is a small price to pay for peace of mind and protection of your valuable belongings. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be paying more than £100 a year for your insurance. However, pricing can be affected by factors such as the security of your accommodation, where you live, and how many students you reside with.

Most insurers will offer a monthly fee or a one-off lump sum. Providers such as Endsleigh offer cover from as little as £1.85 per month. Cheap students’ contents insurance doesn’t always cover everything you need, of course. In some cases, taking the annual fee will actually save you money, as monthly payments incur interest. Be sure to delve deeper into your policy’s terms and conditions and consider what you can realistically afford.

How To Reduce The Cost Of Contents Insurance

One of the best ways to reduce the cost of contents insurance is to be savvy when choosing which belongings you insure. Simply put, the fewer items you’re paying for, the lower the overall cost will be. Determine the worth of your possessions before insuring them. Electronic goods which are on their last legs may not be worth the cost.

Noting down the security features of your accommodation when applying for cover will also drive down the cost. If your accommodation is akin to Fort Knox, then shout about it. Letting your provider know about alarm systems and impenetrable locks is certain to decrease your costs. Equally important is taking care of your possessions. A year without a claim will result in a reduced premium due to your no-claims bonus.

How Does Student Content Insurance Work?

Here’s a basic explanation of how student contents insurance works:

  1. Choose your coverage: Before you buy a student contents insurance policy, you will need to decide what level of coverage you need. This will depend on the value of your possessions and the risks associated with your particular circumstances. For example, if you have expensive electronics, you may need a higher level of coverage.

  2. Pay your premium: Once you have chosen your coverage, you will need to pay your premium. This is the cost of the insurance policy and will depend on the level of coverage you have chosen, as well as other factors such as your location, the security of your property, and your claims history.

  3. Make a claim: If your possessions are lost, stolen, or damaged, you will need to make a claim with your insurance provider. You will typically need to provide details of the event that caused the damage, as well as proof of ownership of the items that were lost or damaged.

  4. Assessment and payout: Your insurance provider will assess your claim and determine whether it is covered by your policy. If your claim is approved, your insurance provider will either repair or replace the damaged items or provide a payout to cover the cost of replacement or repair.

How To Make A Claim On Student Contents Insurance

Here are some tips for making a claim on your student contents insurance:

  1. Report the incident as soon as possible.

  2. Keep evidence: Gather as much photographic evidence of the damage as possible to back up your claim.

  3. Provide accurate information: For stolen property, you may be required to provide details about what happened, so ensure you have all the details at hand before contacting your provider.

  4. Have your policy details at hand: You’ll need to give a policy number and additional details, such as the name and address of the policyholder.

  5. Follow up: If you haven’t heard back from your insurance provider about your claim, don’t be afraid to follow up with them to check on its status. You may also want to keep a record of your communications with your insurance provider.

  6. Be patient: The claims process can take some time, so it’s important to be patient. 

  7. Seek help if needed: If you are having difficulty making a claim or if your claim has been denied, you may want to seek help from a professional, such as a lawyer or an insurance ombudsman.

Remember that the process of making a claim can vary depending on your insurance provider and policy. Be sure to read your policy carefully and contact your insurance provider if you have any questions.

What Is New For Old Cover?

New for old cover pays out by replacing your stolen or damaged belongings with a spanking new replacement. Many university students’ contents insurance providers offer this is either a standard service or an optional extra. Lost a phone model which is no longer available? Under this form of cover, the insurer would be obliged to offer a financial payout up to the value of the phone. Beware that some new for old policies subtract indemnity cover, which accounts for the cost of wear and tear. Keep an eye out for these buzzwords when examining your insurance policy.

Is Building Insurance Covered In My Contents Policy?

Building insurance isn’t covered by students’ contents policies for one reason – it’s not your responsibility. It’s down to your landlord or university accommodation provider to take out business insurance, so that’s one less expense to worry about. Insurance, as well as any other accompaniments to the property, must be put into place before you move in.

The Importance Of Comparing Student Contents Insurance Quotes

Much like any purchase, it’s important to survey the lay of the land before choosing a policy. No one likes to pay over the odds, and shopping around will help you save money on contents insurance. Get as many quotes as you can, or utilise handy and easy-to-use tools such as Compare The Market or MoneySupermarket. Comparing contents covered for students will give a broader view of what exactly is on offer. Getting the best deal for you is important, and content insurance comparison will result in you receiving a policy which gives you all the protection you need.

Be sure to take out a student’s contents insurance policy before joining us at The Stay Club. Ready to make the move? Browse our London student accommodation. For a closer look, why not book a virtual viewing? Our expert team would love to hear from you and show you around our properties.


Student Accommodation Checklist - The Stay Club