Get top marks for student insurance

Standard Aviva home contents insurance covers £5,000 of items at University

Going off to University can be a worrying time for parents. Freshers are setting off for new, unknown surroundings, often the first taste of life on their own. Even returning undergraduates often move into different accommodation bringing with it the need to learn about their new surroundings.

While the majority have trouble-free years; around 834,000 students – one in three – become victims of crime 1. But there are some things you can do to settle everyone’s nerves. For starters: did you know standard Aviva home contents insurance covers £5,000 worth of belongings?

The details

We’ll cover students who are only away from home during term time, their possessions would be covered in any hall of residence or shared house in the British Isles. There are some points to consider. For example, possessions are only covered if they’re stolen after forced entry or exit. So make sure they lock their room when they’re not there, or buy them a padlock if there isn’t a key to their door.

The cover includes a wide range of damage, including fire and flooding. Most thefts are included too, though thieves must have gained entry by forced entry or from deception.

Extra reassurance

If you’ve a particularly accident prone scholar on your hands, you might want to take our optional ‘personal belongings’ cover, which means you won’t have to worry about any accidental loss or damage either. And, since it’s valid worldwide, it also gives you peace of mind when they – or you – are further afield.

On the road to learning

A fifth of students have their own car. And over half of their parents worry about them 2. It’s not just the long distances, it’s the fact they’ll usually have mates with them and might get distracted.

Luckily, Aviva MultiCar can make life a little easier. It covers children, husbands, wives, common-law partners and any relatives on up to five cars or vans in a household – including students who live away during term time. What’s more, you could save money by insuring them on one convenient, flexible policy, and each car has its own no claim discount, level of cover and excess.

Our view

Jonathan Cracknell, one of our underwriting managers, said “It’s only natural for parents to worry when their children fly the nest. Students are a high risk group when it comes to theft, and clearly safety and security are not the first things on their minds.

“Very basic measures, like ensuring your student room or house is properly secured and not left open for anyone to wander in, and not flashing expensive gadgets around when you’re out and about will all help reduce the chances of being a victim of crime.

Some textbook student safety measures

  • Lock up. Remember to lock doors and windows so the room’s not open to opportunist thieves.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t leave valuables in full view – in either your room or car.
  • Travel light. Don’t carry expensive items when they’re not needed. You don’t need a laptop on a pub crawl. It’s safer locked up at home.
  • Don’t be flash. There’s no need to advertise that you’re a good target by waving the latest smartphone around when you’re out and about. Think about where you are and what you’re doing.
  • Park smart. Leave your car alongside others in a well-lit, busy area so it’s less likely to be targeted by thieves (and if you have to leave valuables in it, store them away from prying eyes – in the boot).
  • Get some roadside assistance. It’s worth taking out car breakdown cover in case the worst happens during those long journeys home.
  • Keep your focus. Young drivers only account for 12% of licence holders, but they’re involved in a quarter of road deaths and injuries 3. Whoever you’re with, concentrate on the road.

1. The Complete University Guide 2012 estimates that a third of UK students are victims of crime, mainly theft and burglary (HESA puts the total number of 2010/11 UK students at 2,501,295).

2. Opinion Matters found that 58% of 1,004 UK parents with children at or going to a university away from home were worried about them having an accident (9-16 July 2012).

3. DFT 2011 report on reported road accidents involving young car drivers.

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