Getting ready for university is an exciting time, and it can be easy to get wrapped up in everything involved. Moving your life, with many of your personal possessions to your student digs, means that it’s important to think about insuring what you have. If you’re staying in halls, contents insurance may be included, but if your going into a student house, you probably won’t be covered at all.
For peace of mind, all our student accommodation in London comes with contents insurance provided by Endsleigh. Still, it can be a good idea to know what’s involved with contents insurance as a whole before making any kind of move. Knowing the ins and outs of content insurance can help you know exactly what is covered, no matter where you end up living your student life. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get started.
What is student contents insurance?
Student contents insurance is there to protect student’s contents and possessions while you’re living at student accommodation from theft, loss or damage. These last two are usually extras and not a standard part of insurance plans, so keep that in mind as you choose what to bring.
Plans vary depending on which insurance company you opt for, but when it comes to urbanest and Endsleigh, coverage includes:
- Up to £12500 of contents in your student home
- Protection against theft, attempted theft, malicious damage, fire, flood and more
- Loss of keys
- University property on loan
This is just the start of what is covered by student insurance. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact us about the specifics!
Do I need student insurance?
Short answer? Yes. The last big study into the subject found that the average student room contains over £3,000 worth of contents. Quite the figure, right? With all that valuable content, it’s no wonder that students want to cover the costs of any mishaps.
In spite of this, 46% of students don’t have contents insurance when they go to uni. This can be for a variety of reasons. Some think that it comes as standard with all student accommodation, while others may not even know to get this kind of insurance at all. Sometimes people also confuse it with the landlord’s building insurance, but this covers structural damage to the property itself and not the contents inside.
Interestingly, a research project from Save The Student found that 36% of students that needed to get contents insurance didn’t. Factors included as to why not included price or not thinking they would need it. Sadly, a similar figure of students also fell victim to theft, showing that this thought process may not be right.
Sadly, while urbanest prides itself on security, thefts from student accommodation is very common, especially during Fresher’s week. As students are often new to the city and excited to explore, it leaves you open to being targeted. Making sure you keep tabs on your belongings when out and about is a good way to help prevent this from affecting you, as is keeping track of your personal belongings inside your home.
For peace of mind, having contents insurance is vital. However, it is worth checking with your accommodation first. Some providers, like ourselves, provide contents insurance as part of your contract but there are many who don’t. If contents insurance is provided with your accommodation, be sure to check exactly what it covers, as you may need extra, depending on what you are taking to university.
Are students covered on home insurance?
Many students assume that their belongings are covered by their parents’ home insurance when they head off to uni. However, this is not always the case. Often, it can be added as an additional extra, at a cost, but it often comes with restrictions. The best course of action is to talk this through with your parents before you leave, as it can be a great option for some people. Just keep an eye on the excess and premium clauses on their policies so both you and your parents know the pros and cons.
How much is student insurance?
On average, students pay between £60 to £90 annually for contents insurance. With most insurers you will have the option to pay this monthly or as a one-off fee. This can vary depending on factors, such as where you’ll be living, what kind of accommodation you’re in, how many people live with you, if you have a room lock, and so on.
When including add-ons, this can increase again as some insurers will only cover high-value items under a certain price point. Still, if your insurance claim is going above £100, it may be best to look elsewhere.
Can you reduce the cost of contents insurance?
There are several ways that you can reduce the cost of your insurance. Our tips for getting a lower cost are:
- Shop around – get plenty of quotes and even ring around the providers telling them the best deal you have been offered, to see if they will make you a better deal, they often do.
- Pay upfront – paying your insurance as one lump sum rather than a monthly payment, as this reduces the cost. Paying monthly means that you’ll also pay interest on the insurance;
- Only insure what you need to – The less items you insure, the less you will pay, so if you’re phone is getting on and barely worth it, don’t insure it.
- Know your contents’ worth – if you don’t know the true value of your possessions you could end up with too little or too much cover, both of which could cost you in the long run.
- Know what security features your accommodation has – be sure to mention these as things like alarms and approved locks, as this will decrease your insurance.
- Increase your excess – increasing your voluntary excess will bring your premium down, but this will also reduce the amount you will get back if you do need to make a claim, so make sure you find that balance.
- Look after your possessions – if you don’t need to claim, you will earn a no-claims bonus, which will decrease your content insurance premium the next year.
What should be included in contents insurance for students?
Your student content insurance should cover:
- Musical instruments (normally up to a certain value – check with your insurer);
- Electronics (normally up to a certain value), this can include:
- Moblie phone;
- Games consoles.
However, most insurers have a maximum value limit for items. So, if you own items that are valued above this limit you will need extra insurance to cover these. This might be for items such as laptops and bicycles. Be sure to check the small print before you purchase your cover to check if your high value items are covered. If they are not, there is often an optional add-on, but adding this will increase your premium.
What to do when getting insured
Ideally, you want to start looking into your content insurance before your term starts. That way you have plenty of time to shop around. Make sure your cover starts as soon as you are moving your possessions into your student accommodation, whether this is before term starts or on the day, and whether you are living there or just storing your possessions before term starts.
Another important thing is to make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your insurance. For instance, your possessions may only be insured in your room, so you don’t want to leave anything in communal areas. Be sure you are aware of the maximum value limit, and if you have anything above this value.
Understanding contents insurance
All the jargon around insurance can be a little difficult to get your head around, but you need to have a basic understanding to ensure you are getting the best deals. Here are some of the key terms that will help you to understand your student contents insurance:
- Excess – There are normally two types of excess, voluntary and compulsory. This is the amount that you will pay if you are making a claim. Many insurers have compulsory excess, then you can add voluntary excess to bring your premium down. So, for instance, if an insurance policy has a compulsory excess of £100 and you choose to add a voluntary excess of £100, your excess is £200. When it comes to claiming, you will have to pay this £200 excess, so if you need to claim for a £500 laptop that is stolen, you will receive £300.
- Exclusions – These are items or events that are not covered. Before purchasing an insurance policy, make sure you check the exclusions to be sure that you are choosing the right insurance. Often there are options to add these exclusions to a policy, but adding these will increase your premium. Items could include high-value items, events could be not being covered in communal areas.
- No-Claims Discount (NCD) – Every subsequent year that you do not make a claim goes towards your NCD. The longer you go without making a claim, the cheaper your insurance will be.
- High-Value Items – Insurers will have a maximum value for the items that they cover. If a single item is above this, they are considered a high-value item and so may need additional cover. Some policies may include a set number of high-value items in their cover, so be sure to check.
- Walk-In Theft – This is often included in the exclusions, and so not covered in student contents’ insurance. Walk-in theft occurs when something is stolen, but there is no sign of a forced entry. This could happen, for example, if you have left a window open. It’s often worth adding this to your insurance, especially if you are in shared accommodation.
- Paying upfront – With taking insurance you have the option to pay monthly or annually as a lump sum, that is what paying up-front is. Paying a lump sum often works out cheaper in the long run as some insurers charge extra for paying monthly.
- Buildings Insurance – This covers the building that you live in. But this is your landlord’s responsibility, not yours, so you do not need to take this out.
Compare contents insurance for students
After all this information, getting the cover you need may sound like a laborious task right? Thankfully, that’s not true – getting student content insurance is quick and easy. To receive a quote, all you need to know is what type of insurance you want and when you want it to start, as well as some personal information and details. Just make sure, you compare the cost and policies with different insurance companies, as that is the best way to ensure a good deal.
To help you there are comparison sites that will give you a quote and will compare insurance policies for you, such as Confused.com, Money Supermarket, and Compare the Market. You can also find people talking about insurance on The Student Room and other forums online, so check them out.
At urbanest, we are proud to provide student contents insurance with your accommodation for your studies. To view our accommodation, check out our student accommodation in London Zone 1. Why? Because student contents insurance is a vital expense for peace of mind. So, don’t forget to protect your belongings and save yourself money just in case your possessions are lost, stolen, or damaged.