When planning the big move to university, insurance is often well down the list of 'must do's' - but we believe its critical both for students and their parents that students not only cover themselves properly, but also that they find a policy that will suit the requirements of the life they are about to lead.
Unfortunately its a fact of life that theft rates are higher on university campuses or student digs than they are in parental homes - and not surprisingly, given all the attractions on offer, students don't always pay the highest attention to protecting their belongings when living on their own for the first time. This is why student insurance is an essential to sort before you start at uni.
When considering student contents and possessions insurance do make sure you not already covered though - you can find you are already insured to a greater or lesser extent - either through the home insurance policy that covers their parents property or through a block policy organised by the university. Do read the small print though as cover is often limited to possessions whilst in the students room, and excludes high value items such as laptops and mobile phones.
If relying on a home policy do consider the following:
Some student insurers offer discounts of up to 30% to entice potential policyholders. We would suggest that rather than concentrating on the discount concentrate on the cover and the end price - as in the student insurance market a discount does not always translate into the best value for money.
Cover4insurance have developed a strong brand in the market., last year being named Best Student Insurance Provider by Insurance Choice Awards. They offer up to £14,000 of possessions cover plus optional extras such as All Risks cover, laptop, bicycle and accidental damage, they offer tailored cover from a panel of insurers including Royal & Sun Alliance and Aviva. A big selling point is the low standard excess of just £10.
Standard cover includes vacation cover, tuition fee cover, £50 cash and £500 credit/debit card misuse cover, £1m legal liability and £30,000 legal expenses. See their website for full details and to obtain cover through their quick and easy quotation process in minutes.
A very popular upgrade covers up to £10,000 of accidental damage to landlords property which is often much cheaper than similar cover offered by commercial landlords.
Over the past two years they have added new options for those living at home covering elements such as gadget cover and /or tuition fee cover, for more information visit cover4insurance/livingathome.
Cover4insurance can also cover international students. This insures tuition fees of up to £20,000 and repatriation cover, making it ideal for those looking to study abroad. See the cover4insurance international students page for more information.
They also run a dedicated phone line 0844 826 2044 (quote MAXI) for more complex insurance requirements or if you just want stand-alone cover for a bicycle.
Unlike most insurers, cover4insurance do cover "walk-in" theft as standard, so no lock on your room is required and no forcible entry into your room has to occur to be able to claim.
They also have the lowest standard excess that we have found at just £10.
If you are lucky enough to have got a place in student halls be aware that Cover4insurance work with various universities and accommodation providers across the country, providing a basic level of contents cover for students rooms. Visit our halls insurance guide for more information.
Endsleigh, the NUS preferred brand, offer a comprehensive range of student insurance policies.
Headline Endsleigh rates start low, but then you have a series of optional extras so you will need to carry out a full quote before deciding if it's right for you. It will not take long through once you reach the Endsleigh website
Endsleigh work with 86% of universities and accommodation providers providing a basic level of contents cover for student hall accommodation. Our halls of residence insurance guide will identify whether your uni is one of those they can cover and if so to what extent (these policies offer very limited cover and often do not cover items outside the students room). You can extend cover with one of their add-on student insurance bundles.
The Endsleigh policies can include the following, either within the base price or as an optional extra:
Gadget insurance, this protects things such as smartphones, tablets and laptops if they’re damaged or stolen. This type of policy is beneficial as it covers your gadgets when you’re out and about, and not just in your home.
Contents Insurance, this protects your possessions. Your landlord may have their own contents policy, but it’s worth checking whether this covers all of your possessions such as clothes, jewellery, cameras and other valuables.
Bicycle Insurance, it’s often possible to add cover for your bike onto an existing contents policy. However, if you want to cover just your bicycle because you rely on it for getting around, you can take out a stand-alone policy for just your bike. This will cover you if it is damaged or stolen.
Musical Instrument Insurance, it’s often possible to add an instrument to an existing policy. If you’d prefer to protect just your instrument, you can purchase a policy that will protect you if your instrument is stolen or accidentally damaged.
The Insurance Emporium (formerly known as E&L) student possessions product is developing year on year. It has some nice features, particularly 'fees cover' in case of an accident. Their standard excess is £50 - which is at the high end for student cover and may prove off-putting for some.
They offer a discount of up to 30% to those clicking through to the The Insurance Emporium’s, a 20% Introductory Discount, and an extra 10% for NUS members.
New for 2017 is a number of elective benefits (more commonly known as optional extras) which you can opt into to include cover. Among The Insurance Emporium’s Elective Benefits are:
Gadgets and Mobile Phones
A variety of gadgets can be covered including smartphones, laptops, cameras etc, which cover gadgets from loss, theft and accidental damage both in the UK and for up to 45 days worldwide.
For students living away from home the Rent Protection Elective Benefit could potentially spare a hefty bill should you be forced to leave your rented property due to incapacity or illness.
Protects valuables in the event of loss, theft or accidental damage. Sports equipment, TVs, jewellery, games consoles and many, many more items covered.
Insures instruments but also equipment, so if you enjoy DJing in your spare time (or as part of your course), you may want to consider protecting yourself in case something goes wrong.
Customers are able to Pick 'N' Mix their policy to ensure it covers everything you need without having to take the bits you don't want! The Insurance Emporium do offer excesses from just £25 for mobile phones which could be something to consider.
Do tick the box for holiday cover if living in halls, it doesn't normally cost any more, however do note you're only covered for a maximum of 30 consecutive days during each holiday period.
Protect Your Bubble offer gadget and jewellery insurance and are now offering 15% off these for students for a limited time! To make the most of this offer, and to find out more about the cover provided, please visit Protect Your Bubble.
All the major banks offer student policies, and extensions from some home insurance policies are also available. Do note that your home insurance make have a much higher excess than specialist student insurance - insurers in this arena tell us they handle many very modest claims which could not be claimed for if a higher excess was in place.
If necessary you can extend existing cover - say on parental home insurance policy or basis student policy through the existing provider (Endsleigh for instance can be reached via this link), or by insuring a specific item such as a laptop or mobile insurance such as that available through the moneymaxim gadget insurance comparison service. For instance, Cheaper Gadget Insurance are just one of the companies on that website and offer a gadget policy that will provide up to £500 of cover for multiple gadgets from just £59.99.
A full comparison service is not available for student insurance - the products tend to be launched at short notice, and have a fairly short shelf life (the vast majority are bought before October), so before development is completed the customer demand would have fallen away. During the student 'season' the insurers often amend cover as well if they find product development is necessary, so we would suggest you to undertake personalised quotation with each company - it only takes a few minutes, and individual situations can be easily catered for.
Before you start though, identify the following as that will make the process simpler!
Whilst there are more features individual insurers will present you with these will help you speed through a few quotations in no time at all. Remember to read the policy documents fully as well so you do know what you will be covered for and what exclusions apply - every policy has them and its far better to know up front rather than find out when you are making a claim!
This content was last reviewed on 16/08/2017