Find out what student contents insurance is and whether you need it.
As if being a student wasn’t scary enough, you’ve probably heard many horror stories of belongings being damaged, lost or even stolen while in student housing and accommodation.
Of course, these things happen whether you’re a student or not, but moving into a new place with new people can be a good time to set some precautions. You never know whose cooking is going to burn down the flat and your precious teddies along with it…
Something that could save yourself from the stress and anxiety of your belongings going missing is student contents insurance. Now, if you’re anything like me and recoil at the very mention of insurance — or anything to do with finances for that matter — then you’re in luck.
We’ve got everything you need to know about student contents insurance in the UK and where to get the best insurance from.
In this guide:
- What is student contents insurance?
- How does student contents insurance work?
- Do students need contents insurance?
- What does student contents insurance cover?
- What doesn’t student content insurance cover?
- Best contents insurance for students
- How to save money on student contents insurance
Guide to student contents insurance
What is student contents insurance?
Student contents insurance is a type of cover that provides financial protection for your belongings while you’re a student at university.
It is designed to cover the cost of your personal belongings if they’re stolen, lost, or damaged, and it’s a great way to give you that extra peace of mind, knowing that if anything does happen, you’ll be covered.
How does student contents insurance work?
Basically, as long as you pay your monthly or annual contents insurance fees, your stuff will be covered.
Student contents insurance works similarly to car insurance. If something happens to your belongings, like fire damage or theft, then you make a claim and receive a payout – which will cover repairs or replacements (minus the excess on your policy). The excess is your contribution towards the claim, which varies depending on the policy, what you’re willing to pay etc.
If you’re considering taking out an insurance policy, make sure you have enough cover for all your belongings, or at least the ones you care about most or are highly valuable. You don’t want something to happen and then make a claim to find out half of your stuff isn’t covered.
Do students need contents insurance?
According to recent studies, roughly one-in-twenty students experience a burglary or break-in while at university.
We don’t mention this to scare you, but as it may be your first time moving out of the family home and somewhere on your own with people you don’t know, it’s best to be prepared.
Taking out student contents insurance is not a legal requirement but is worth doing so for your protection. Students are hoarders of valuable gadgets like laptops, phones and other tech – making them attractive targets for theft.
But, not only is theft a concern, accidents like fires can damage your belongings and can be costly to replace. Taking out content’s insurance will ensure you don’t have to fork out hundreds, if not thousands, to replace your stuff — especially since the student budget is pretty sparse.
If you feel like you have a lot of valuable or sentimental belongings (like family jewellery or expensive tech), it may be worth taking out student contents insurance. For best coverage, buy your contents insurance as early as possible when you know where you’ll be living. This will help make sure you’re covered from the day you move in.
What does student contents insurance cover?
Like many insurance policies, student contents insurance can vary from policy to policy. Make sure to always read the small print to see exactly what your policy covers.
Most will cover any damage or theft in your student accommodation. Items that are typically included are:
- Gadgets — phones, laptops, that kind of thing
- Musical instruments
For many insurance policies, you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can add extra cover and protection for high-value items, and you may have to list them individually as ‘high-value items’ if they’re worth more than £1,500.
What doesn’t student content insurance cover?
Some policies will have exclusions, meaning particular things won’t be covered as standard. These may include:
- Accidental damage — damages caused by accidents aren’t typically covered but you can usually add it to your policy as additional cover
- Items stolen outside of your accommodation — can be added as an extra, usually personal possessions cover
- High-value items — worth more than £1,500 that aren’t named on your policy
- Theft if your student accommodation is left unoccupied for a period of time, usually 30 days
- Theft if there’s no sign of forced entry
You can normally add these things as extras if available for your policy.
Best contents insurance for students
Specialising in student insurance, Cover4Students provides one of the best value student contents insurance for uni accommodation.
Compulsory cover includes personal possessions like computers and equipment, protecting them against loss or damage by flood, fire, storm, theft, and similar causes.
You can choose from a range of optional extensions, including:
- Accidental damage to landlord’s property (Tenants Liability)
- Course fees and rental protection
- Musical instruments
- Personal accident and criminal assault
Endsleigh’s studentGuard insurance is a flexible cover with no interest added on top of your monthly payments.
Their standard student contents insurance includes:
- loss from theft
- attempted theft
- malicious damage
- fire and flood
- theft of items being transported to and from your student home
- mugging and assault cover
You can also add additional cover for things such as mobile phones, personal possessions, and accidental damage.
From just £5 a month, you can get a student contents insurance policy from Urban Jungle. They don’t charge interest if you choose to pay monthly, allowing you to save a little bit more of your student budget.
A great thing about Urban Jungle is that they allow you to make changes to your policy for free, enabling you to add or remove additional coverage to suit your needs. You can even add ‘communal areas’ to your cover, to help protect your belongings in shared spaces – like a student kitchen.
Sainsbury’s Bank standard cover includes theft at home or term time accommodation (including laptop, tablets, mobiles, cameras), plus accidental damage to your laptop.
You can also add additional cover to protect your mobile from accidental damage, as well as smart watches.
Sainsbury’s offers their student contents insurance as part of home cover, so if you live with your parents and they’re covered by Sainsbury’s, you’ll automatically be covered when you go to university – saving the hassle of trying to sort out a new policy.
Comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket will give you more insight into the best insurance policies, including ones that aren’t student-specific.
Fill out a form based on your accommodation situation and what you would like covered, and the site will match the best deals to you. It’s a super easy way to compare a range of policies.
How to save money on student contents insurance
A student budget can be tight, so we know you’ll be wanting to save as much money as possible.
Luckily, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you lower the cost of your student contents insurance.
- Shop around and compare prices and policies
- Haggle with insurers — it’s okay to ring and ask!
- Pay upfront, if possible — annual costs are sometimes lower than monthly
- Value your items accurately — you don’t want to be paying more than you should, or equally not paying enough which may cost you more in the long run
- Increase your excess — increasing the amount you contribute to a claim will lower the overall monthly cost usually
- Install security measures — such as alarms or locks, this may reduce your overall cost
- Always read the small print to make sure you don’t get caught out
Do student houses have contents insurance?
Always check with your university accommodation provider — whether that’s a private landlord or university halls.
Some accommodation packages may have certain insurance included, so it’s worth checking before you fork out for it yourself.
Do you need insurance for student halls?
From a personal view, you should opt for student contents insurance when living in student halls. These halls are typically communal and you’ll be living with several people you don’t know very well, so for your peace of mind, insuring your belongings is a smart move.
Some student halls may include contents insurance, so always check with your accommodation provider to see what’s included and what isn’t.
It’s not a legal requirement to have student contents insurance, but it’s something worth considering as theft between students sharing spaces isn’t entirely unheard of.
Are students covered by their parents’ insurance?
If you live with parents or guardians, check if their home contents insurance covers students. Some will cover children who have moved away for university.
Typically, your parent’s address will still have to be your permanent address, but since uni accommodation is mostly temporary, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Check out our Student Beans home insurance discounts for students.