What does student contents insurance cover?
Student contents cover protects your possessions from loss, damage or theft if there’s a fire, flood or break-in where you're living while at uni.
Think everything from your phone and laptop, through to your clothes, books, money, any musical instruments, sporting equipment you have. Don't forget any furniture that belongs to you rather than your landlord.
One way to visualise it is if you turned your student accommodation upside down, everything that falls out is likely to be covered by your students contents insurance policy.
A word of warning: your policy is likely to have a single item limit. This is the maximum amount you can claim for any one item. Many students contents policies set this at £1,000.
You might not think it a problem, but you might be surprised at the value of some of your belongings.
Items that might exceed the single item limit on student contents insurance include:
- Laptops or computers
- Expensive smart phones
- Musical instruments
What doesn't student contents insurance cover?
Every insurance policy has exclusions: things you can't claim for.
In the case of students contents insurance this is likely to exclude:
- Accidental damage to your possessions – for example, spilling coffee on your laptop or dropping your phone.
- High value items worth more than the single item limit (for example a £1,500 laptop)
- Damage, theft or loss of personal possessions away from your accommodation – like your laptop or phone
But the good news is that you can usually buy cover for these eventualities for an additional premium.
Your insurance might also not cover you if your insurance provider feels you have been negligent in some way, like making your home an easy target for thieves.
Your claim might be rejected if:
- You leave your accommodation for a longer period
- You’ve left doors or windows open or unlocked
- There's no sign of a forced entry
- You try to claim for gradual wear and tear of belongings
To be on the safe side, always check the policy details to see what it does and doesn't cover before you buy student contents insurance.
How do I get cheap student contents insurance?
From our experience there are a number of things you can do to cut the cost of student contents insurance:
- Pay annually, if you can
- Build your no-claims bonus
- Check your security measures
- Shop around each year
Pay annually, if you can. It might seem more manageable to pay for your insurance monthly, but be aware that insurers often charge interest for the privilege. Pay up front if you can.
Build your no-claims bonus to get a cheaper deal. If you can go a year or longer without claiming, your insurer should give you a no-claims discount each time you renew. If it’s your first time getting contents insurance then this won’t apply.
Check your security measures. It's important you have the correct door locks and window locks. This won't just make it harder for thieves to break in, it could also reduce your insurance costs..
Comparing like-for-like student contents policies could help you find the best deal in minutes and with minimal effort. It’s the easiest way to save money on your student contents insurance.
What our home insurance expert says:
It's common to assume that when you're at uni, your belongings will be protected by your parents' contents insurance policy. This isn't always the case.
You shouldn't rely on your university accommodation or landlord to protect you either. They usually only offer a basic level of insurance, which might only protect a small range of possessions.
If you're in any doubt about what you're protected against, check any policies you already have. But be aware it might not offer all the cover you need. Make sure you have sufficient contents insurance in place for added peace of mind.
Home Insurance Product Manager
Need more help?
You can buy contents insurance for students at any time. But in an ideal world, it’s best to have it as soon as you move in so you’re covered from day 1.
Student contents insurance policies often have add-ons you can buy to boost your cover. These include:
- Accidental damage to your possessions
- Personal possessions away from home
- New for old cover - meaning your payout is based on the cost of replacing an item new, not the item's current value
- You can also list high value items (worth more than the single item limit) separately
If you live at home with your parents, your possessions should be covered by their contents insurance policy, you shouldn't need to buy your own students insurance. It's a good idea to still check the T&Cs though and find out whether pricey gadgets like laptops and phones are covered when you’re out and about. Your parents can add personal possessions away from cover if they don't have it already.
You can sometimes get room key cover as an add-on to your policy. If you lose your key, it should cover the cost of calling out a locksmith and replacing the locks.
Each policy will probably have a single item limit. This is the maximum you can claim for one item, and it’s normally £1,000. If you have expensive items worth more than this while you’re at university, ask your insurer if you can arrange additional cover.
Some examples of high-value items include:
- High-powered gaming laptops and desktop PCs
- Heirlooms and expensive jewellery
- Musical instruments
- Sports equipment
No - you're not responsible for repairs to the bricks and mortar of your student accommodation. That's your landlord's job.
As the owner, your landlord can buy dedicated landlord insurance to help protect their property.
Some contents insurance might be included as part of your student accommodation. But the cover they offer might not be as much as other student contents insurance policies you can buy yourself. Compare the policies side by side to see if they cover everything you need.
If you’re a victim of theft or burglary at university, you should call the police first and get a crime reference number. Then, call your insurer on the claims number in your policy. You should be able to find it on their website too. It's often helpful if you have some evidence to support your claim, such as receipts or photos for stolen items.
There shouldn’t be a limit to the number of claims you make on your student contents insurance. But the more you do make, the more you’re likely to pay for insurance cover in the following year. It could affect your no-claims bonus too. Multiple claims over a short period can make an insurance company suspicious of fraud. It can also lead to higher premiums on renewal and in some cases a loss of your no claims bonus completely.
The excess is the amount you need to pay towards a claim. Agreeing to a higher voluntary excess could reduce the cost of your student insurance. But it’s worth thinking about how much you’d be prepared to pay if you had to make a claim. For example, would you want to pay £250 to claim for a £300 bike?