Contents insurance isn’t as expensive as you might think, and you may already be covered by your parents’ policy. Find out how to protect your things.
Moving to university is probably the first time you’ll live independently, move to a new city and buy everyday household items like towels, frying pans, and cutlery.
But have you ever thought about how much all your belongings cost? A typical student takes more than £3,000 worth of stuff to university 1, with tech equipment and gadgets adding up to over £1,750 on average.
However, insuring valuables isn’t necessarily a priority for students 1 even though stats indicate that they’re most likely to fall victim to personal theft 2. Damaging or losing gadgets on a night out isn’t uncommon either.
Louise Colley, Customer Director for Aviva, says, “It’s quite easy to underestimate the value of student belongings. Laptops, tablets and phones are now ‘must-haves’ for most people at university, so very quickly there can be thousands of pounds of possessions in one room. If they’re not insured, it can be a real headache - both emotionally and financially - if the worst happens.”
Don’t worry though — cover isn’t as expensive as you might think, and you may already be covered by your parents’ policy. Read on to find out how to protect your things.
Using your parents’ insurance
If your parents or legal guardians insure their home with us, your possessions should be insured if you’re studying in the UK. Our regular AvivaPlus household contents policy offers £5,000 cover for items temporarily removed from the home. So, if you live at home during the holidays, your belongings will be covered.
Our protection includes belongings in your room, shared house, or student halls, and covers them in case of fire, storm, flood, or malicious damage. Theft is also covered, but only if someone forcibly breaks into your accommodation. You can’t claim if you left your door unlocked and someone took your laptop, for instance.
If your parents have contents insurance with another provider, they’ll need to read their policy documents to check if your belongings are covered.
Is my student accommodation responsible?
Some universities partner with insurance companies to offer a basic level of contents insurance for your student accommodation should the worst happen.
However, if you live in private accommodation, you’ll need to arrange contents insurance with your housemates. Buildings insurance should be sorted by your landlord, which covers against structural damage caused by things such as fires and storms or burglars.
What about belongings outside student accommodation?
You need additional personal belongings cover if you want to protect your laptop or mobile phone when you’re out. However, if you’re on your parent’s policy, these items are covered under temporary removal.
Our Personal Belongings cover provides £2,000 worth of cover, including £750 for cash, and a single item limit of £2,000.
Damaged or stolen mobile phones can be replaced within 48 hours of an accepted claim.
Having a separate mobile phone insurance policy is also advised as claims don’t impact your premium. It’s common to add a policy to your mobile phone bill from your network provider.
Our home contents insurance covers bikes if they’re stolen from inside your student home or a locked garage or shed. However, if you want your bike covered when parking at university or elsewhere, consider adding additional bike cover to your policy.
When you’re away from home, you must lock your bike securely to a concrete post, railing or bike stand to be covered for theft. We also recommend registering it to the National Bike Register which can make it easier to retrieve if it’s stolen.
How to protect your belongings at university
Lock up. Remember to lock doors and windows when you go out, don’t leave your room open to opportunistic thieves.
Travel light. Don’t carry around belongings you don’t need, these are likely to be safer at home.
Keep it out of sight. Don’t leave valuables in full view, hide them away somewhere safe. The same goes for things left in your car.
Be discreet. When out and about, be careful not to draw attention to your latest gadget — this may alert potential thieves.
Get to know your flatmates and keep an eye out for each other. This way, you’ll be able to recognise suspicious people wandering around your halls or flat.
Register your belongings. Make sure you register any valuables on Immobilise. If they’re stolen and recovered, the police will be able to trace them back to you.