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. Taking out student’s content cover prepares for the worst-case scenario and safeguards your shiny personal possessions while living in your new student accommodation.
Students residing at The Stay Club must take out their own personal contents insurance before commencing their stay. But why is contents insurance for students so important? This helpful guide will go beyond the jargon and provide a helpful look into the ins and outs of student’s contents insurance.
What Is Students Contents Insurance?
Student contents 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. From electronic gadgets to books and clothes, most student content insurance policies cover the cost of missing valuables while you’re living in student accommodation.
Contents insurance for students is of particular importance for those living in shared accommodation. Most university halls or private student accommodation do not include individual contents insurance as standard. Those that do tend to offer extremely basic, paper-thin cover. As such, it is the responsibility of each student to take out individual policies for contents 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 a prime target. 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 same percentage having 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.
Are Students Already Covered By Their Parents Home Contents Insurance?
Make sure you check your parents’ home contents insurance before taking the plunge on 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 cover, 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.
What Does Students 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 against forced entry theft and won’t pay out if your valuables weren’t secured. Search for student insurance providers who offer walk-in theft cover for a more comprehensive package.
When taking out student’s home content insurance, you can expect the vast majority of your possessions to be covered if they’re stolen. Belongings such as books and clothing are typically covered. Some policies may not automatically cover high cost items, however. This single item limit is usually reserved for items which are at higher risk of theft, such as electronic goods. Check with your chosen provider beforehand if costly items need to be covered separately.
More often than not, accidental damage is not covered by students’ contents insurance. 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.
What Is A Students Contents Insurance Policy Excess?
The excess on contents insurance for university students is a pre-agreed fee that will be deducted from your pay out should you make a claim. As an example, if you have an excess of £30 and your belonging is covered for £1000, your total pay out 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 cost of 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 contents 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, although pricing can be affected by factors such as security of your accommodation, where you live, and how many students you reside with.
Most insurers will offer a monthly free 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 policies 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 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 To Make A Claim On Student Contents Insurance
Get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as you can when making an insurance claim. In instances of damaged property, gather as much photographic evidence of the damage as possible to back up your claim. 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. In most cases, you’ll need to give a policy number and additional details such as the name and address of the policy holder.
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 pay out 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 cover for students will give a broader view of what exactly is on offer. Getting the best deal for you is important, and contents 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.