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Home Insurance for Students at University – Are You Already Covered?

Home Insurance for Students at University – Are You Already Covered?

When September rolls around, universities will fling open their doors to a whole host of fresh, new, expectant faces. Ah, the joys of Freshers’ Week!

Going off to university can be a daunting prospect– especially as it’s the first time many young people will live away from home. There are bank accounts to open and accommodation to sort out, not to mention the seemingly endless initial reading lists.

Organising insurance cover may not be top of your ‘to-do’ list – but, as a student, it’s likely you’ll  have possessions that you want to protect financially.

Before plumping for specialist home insurance for students  – it may be worth considering the following:

Does your parents cover include insurance for students?

Before you fork out for any cover, check your parents’ don’t already provide it. Your possessions may already be covered under their policy, so you might not need to buy any additional cover.

If you normally live with your parents outside of term time, your possessions could be covered under ‘contents away from the home’ within their existing policy. There will probably be a maximum limit for each individual item that’s covered, which is normally around £1,500 – but could be less.

Also, there may be caveats around specific items (like an expensive laptop) and certain circumstances (like communal areas) – so make sure you check the policy wording carefully. If in doubt, speak to the insurance provider directly.

If a high-value item goes missing outside your accommodation e.g. from a coffee shop, you probably won’t be covered under you parents’ home insurance. For more comprehensive cover, your parents may need to add personal possessions insurance onto their existing policy.

You can buy stand-alone cover specifically for students, but this often works out as a more expensive way of doing things.

Are your halls already covered?

Your student accommodation might already have a basic level of contents insurance in place. Around 80 universities have this core cover – so it’s worth checking if yours is one of them. Normally, this will only be a basic level of insurance, so make sure you know exactly what’s included.

How safe are your halls?

If you are covered by your parents’ insurance, check the wording carefully as there’ll probably be some specific terms and conditions attached.  Some insurers might specify that belongings are kept in a locked room and may only cover a claim if there’s evidence of forced entry.

There may be certain instances where your insurance would not cover you. For example, if you host party in your room, leave your door unlocked and your laptop gets nicked as a result – you insurer may refuse to cover the claim because your possessions were not sufficiently secure.

Is your bike going with you?

It’s unlikely that your bike will be covered under your parents’ policy.

It should, however, be fairly simple and inexpensive to add this cover to their existing policy.  Alternatively, you can a get stand-alone policy to insure your bike – but this will probably work out as a more expensive option.

If you only need your bike for short journeys (i.e to and from campus), it might be worth using an old, inexpensive bike rather than a top of the range model. This will be less likely to attract thieves. It’s useful to swat up on how to keep your bike safe.

Policy Expert

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Published 23 August 2010