Going to university for the first time is a rite of passage that offers endless possibilities.
It is a chance to meet new friends, reinvent oneself, become nocturnal and, of course, eat copious amounts of cheap pasta.
It is fair to say that in this context insurance is not uppermost in the thoughts of the average fresher. However, given the amount of tech and expensive gadgets a typical student now owns it is not something that should be ignored.
Recent research by Halifax showed that the average student’s bedroom contents in the UK is valued at £1,733. Other findings in the report show that students spend an average of £457 on new tech for university while only 23% of students have adequate insurance cover.
This is despite 45% reporting that they have had items damaged, lost, or stolen at some point. With universities now offering a hybrid approach to studying, personal tech is increasingly on the move between lecture theatres and homes, making it more vulnerable.
So, for new or current students at university, what should you consider when it comes to content insurance?
Karen Verschoor-Lowe, a director at Hedon Insurance Consultants Ltd, says you should firstly check what cover you already have.
‘Before you fork out for insurance you should look at what is covered under your parent’s home insurance policy. Laptops and so forth can be covered under the parent’s insurance under a section called “Contents Temporarily Removed”.
‘This is normally restricted to a set sum and the student’s permanent home address must be the parent’s address. Additional cover for items away from the home or halls of residence can normally be covered under the Personal Possessions section of the parent’s policy.’
It is worth noting that items not currently listed under your parent’s home insurance can be added at additional cost. Aside from home insurance, students living in halls of residence might also find they already have cover, albeit limited.
Students that are privately renting or cannot use their parent’s home insurance will need to start thinking about sorting out their own content insurance. While money is tight for most undergraduates, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Online insurance firms such as Endsleigh specialise in bespoke insurance packages aimed at students and you can get comprehensive cover from around £150. With most brokers you normally have the option to either pay your insurance premiums monthly or as an annual lump sum.
For anyone that feels full content insurance is a stretch financially, it will likely be worth looking to insure individual items.
‘They should assess and prioritise what is the most important item for them,’ says Karen. ‘It’s probably going to be a laptop if they need it for study purposes or a mobile phone to keep in touch with family and friends while they’re away.’
Even when items are insured it is of course necessary to exercise caution. Keep doors and windows locked as insurance companies won’t pay out unless there’s been forced entry into your room.
Ideally, insurance should offer peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on perfecting that pasta.