Perhaps your son or daughter has just started university. Or maybe you’ve just started university yourself and have moved into rented accommodation. Have you considered the average value of belongings that a university student has? Add up the cost of a laptop, smart phone, games console and TV and what do you reckon?
Well, research from Endsleigh suggests that students take close to £3,500 of valuables and tech to university. And with up to six students living in one house, there’s over £20,000 of highly portable valuables under one roof. Clearly student houses are a target for crime, so every precaution should be taken to make sure all possessions are insured.
Parent’s Home Insurance
It is possible to insure phones and laptops under the parent’s home insurance. However, DON’T ASSUME this is automatic. Ring your insurance company and specify the high-value items which are to be insured. Make sure that these items are insured not only inside the term-time address, but also when outside the house. Most students will be taking laptops and phones to lectures with them and therefore expose these items to the risk of damage/theft outside the home.
Home Contents Insurance
Students will normally spend their second and third years outside the halls in private accommodation. Consider getting a standalone home contents insurance policy for their property where they can specify all the gadgets and high value items. Split the premiums between the housemates and they may find this works out cheaper than insuring each individual item with specialist insurers.
Remember, your insurance may refuse to pay out under the following circumstances:
- No sign of forced entry – if entry is made through an open or unlocked door or window, then insurers are very unlikely to pay out.
- Negligence – If you have been negligent with your possessions, and not looked after them, you’ll unlikely see a replacement. For example, submitting a claim because you “left your phone on the train” will most likely be denied as it was your own fault.
- Not insured outside property – Phones and laptops over a certain value (depending on your policy) will need to be specified in the schedule. You will also have limitations on where they are insured. If your property is damaged or stolen outside your insurance limits then you shouldn’t expect a payout.
Many students have bicycles at university. These will also need to be specified in the insurance schedule if they are over a certain value (normally £350). Bikes will also need to maintain a standard of security, as specified in the policy document. For example, insures won’t pay out if a bike was stolen from outside a shop where it hasn’t been secured or locked up.
What information will I need?
Certain information will be required from the landlord. This is likely to include roof construction, percentage of flat roof, lock type and home security features. It’s worth taking the time research this infomation properly, as incorrect info could affect a payout.
For first timers, take a look at our “Beginner’s Guide to Home Contents Insurance” blog. If you have any questions or queries about anything to do with home insurance, give our expert team a call on 01243 219333.