Written by Luke Berte, Editor, Graduate Prospects, August 2011
Independent financial research company Defaqto recently suggested that students beginning university this year should not assume that their belongings are protected under their parent’s home contents insurance.
‘Many young people will either be starting or returning to university this September or October. It is therefore important that they have appropriate protection in place for their possessions,’ says Mike Powell, Defaqto’s insight analyst for general insurance.
Further research carried out by the firm found that many home contents policies (81%) will include student belongings as standard, although 15% do not offer any cover at all. While most home insurance policies do provide cover for students living away from home, there are substantial gaps in the level of cover, depending on each policy.
Available cover limits can differ from £1,000 to £20,000, with 73% of policies providing £5,000 or more cover and 21% offering less than £3,000.
‘The value of possessions that students take with them is likely to run into thousands, particularly when most will take a range of expensive technology with them,’ adds Mike.
Student houses are perfect picking grounds for thieves and burglars, as they usually contain multiple laptops, phones and valuables. The start of term is often highlighted as a prime time for break-ins, as students move into new accommodation, hoarding new and expensive electrical equipment and gadgetry.
A study by insurance provider Endsleigh and the National Union of Students (NUS) recently found that students take £2,652 worth of possessions with them to university. Tech-savvy students also carry £1,165 worth of belongings everyday such as laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players.
‘Arranging insurance specifically tailored to your lifestyle takes just a few minutes, but the benefits last an awful lot longer,’ says Vick O’Connell, a spokesperson for Endsleigh.
Leaving home presents a new found independence for students, but this goes hand in hand with managing the details. Time spent on administrative tasks will go a long way to protecting your valuables, and allow you to rest easy in the knowledge that you are fully covered.
‘Taking precautions against theft and damage can provide you with valuable peace of mind and ensure that you are not left out of pocket at a time when money can be particularly tight,’ says the NUS president, Liam Burns.
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