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How to keep your possessions covered in shared accommodation

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It's worth considering a student house insurance policy while you're away at uni. That's because if your belongings get damaged or stolen you don’t have to pay to replace them.

A student house insurance can help cover your possessions if you're in shared accomodation.

You might also be covered under your parent's home insurance policy, but you need to check their policy's wording.

We talk your insurance options so you can protect your belongings.

A group of students in a houseshare

Students contents insurance can cover your possessions in shared accomodation. It usually covers your items for damage and loss caused by things like theft, fire or flood.

But it's worthing checking whether your items are already covered under your parents' home insurance policy before you buy. Some home insurance policies do include student contents insurance for family members while they’re living away from home at university.

Student contents insurance for shared houses and halls of residences works in a similar way. You pay an annual or monthly premium to insure your possessions for where you’re living. If you make a claim, an excess is deducted from the pay-out.

But there can be one big difference between a halls of residence and shared house. In halls of residence, there’s often cover in place for your belongings through the university’s own insurance policy.

The things you own are your responsibility, so it’s up to you to make sure they’re insured. Just because your possessions are kept at a property owned by the landlord doesn't mean they’re covered by the landlord’s insurance policy.

Student contents insurance can insure your belongings while you’re living in a house share. You don’t have to worry about the building – it’s the landlords responsibility to take out buildings insurance.

If you’re taking out student house insurance yourself, there are two main options to consider.

You can either take out a policy to insure possessions in a room of a shared house. Or you could buy a single contents insurance policy with your housemates instead.

Remember, if you take out contents insurance for just your room, belongings in communal places won’t be covered. It’s sometimes called shared house contents insurance.

A single contents insurance policy with your housemates may also work out cheaper. On the downside, there’s a higher chance of a claim, which could hit your no-claims bonus and make house insurance pricier for you in the future.

Contents insurance for one room

  • Belongings kept in your room are covered
  • It won’t cover anything that’s in the communal areas of a shared house

Single contents insurance with housemates

  • It can work out cheaper for you and your housemates to take out student contents insurance together
  • Possessions kept in both communal areas and the individual bedrooms are covered
  • But there’s more chance of a claim as more people are on the same insurance policy

When you take out student home contents insurance, you need to make sure the policy covers the total value of all your belongings. Typically, it covers up to £5,000 worth of possessions. Always check the policy wording as this does vary from insurer to insurer.

Student house insurance policies also tend to have individual item limits, which can also vary. So if your possessions are worth over an upper limit of £1,500, you need to pay extra to get it covered. You also have to list it as an individually named item on the policy.

Possessions covered by student house insurance include:

  • Electronic devices, including your smartphone
  • TV
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Clothes
  • Cash
  • Sporting equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Books

High-value items listed separately often include:

  • Laptops
  • Jewellery
  • Bikes

Yes, your belongings are covered for break-ins under your student house insurance policy. You're also covered for loss or damage caused by events like fire or flood.

But insurers generally won’t pay out on a claim for a break-in where there’s no forced entry. This means if a burglar was able to enter the property because doors were left unlocked, for example.

If there’s a break-in and you need to make a claim, you should report it to the police straightaway. You also need to take photos of the crime scene, including where the criminal forced entry.

Yes - if you don't lock your door you put yourself at a higher risk of theft. Also, your student house insurance may not be valid if you don’t have a lock on your door and use it.

This is because policies generally won’t pay-out for break-ins where there’s no forced entry. That means it’s always a must to have a lock on your bedroom door if you have a one room student contents policy.

A lot of people tend to come and go in shared student accommodation, so the risk of theft is quite high. Anything you can do that improves security for your belongings and makes it a little harder for thieves is a plus.

You can use Confused.com to compare shared house contents insurance quotes. We’ll just need basic details from you, including:

  • Your address
  • Types of locks at the property
  • Information about you, for example, if you’re a part-time or full-time student
  • The total value of your possessions
  • Any high-value items you want covered

Compare contents insurance quotes

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