A guide to student insurance at university 2023

Jacqueline Dewey, CEO
August, 2023

If you're off to university this year it's likely you’ll have a lot to consider but don't let student insurance slip your mind. Here Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People, explains why it's a safety net worth investing in

Student insurance provides financial protection for your expensive belongings, working in a similar way to contents cover on a home insurance policy. Although not legally required, student insurance can provide peace of mind while you're living away from home, so it's worth considering.  

Do I need student insurance?

Moving to university may be your first experience living away from home and you might be unaware of how much your possessions really cost. If these items were to get lost, stolen or damaged, insurance can fund their replacements.

It's worth checking your parents' home insurance policy, as your items may be covered even while at university. However, there may be limitations, such as only being covered while they're inside your accommodation. If you're relying on this type of protection, read the policy wording carefully so you know what is and isn't protected.

Does my accommodation impact student insurance?

It's likely that you'll be living with others at university, whether that's with friends or strangers. Most first-year students choose to live in halls, while second and third years live in a house share.

If you're moving into halls, check if there's an insurance policy included with the tenancy. If there is, check the limitations of the policy to be confident that it meets your needs.

You may find that there's a single item limit, which is the maximum amount of money the policy will pay out per item. Another common limitation is that the insurer may not pay out for items stolen or damaged if your bedroom door wasn't locked. If the provided insurance policy doesn't cover what you need it to, you may want to consider taking out your own.

When living in shared housing, insurance becomes a bit trickier to navigate. You have the option of insuring the whole house, or just your room.

Insuring the entire house provides more protection, as your belongings are covered in every room. In these instances, all housemates should split the cost of the policy and be made aware of any limitations. If another housemate leaves the door unlocked and your belongings get stolen, it's unlikely that the insurance will pay out.

Choosing to insure your bedroom means that the responsibility is on you, but you won't be covered in any other rooms. Weigh up the pros and cons of both options to decide which is best for you.

How can I save money on student insurance?

As a student you'll be trying to save money wherever you can, so paying for an insurance policy can be off-putting. However, an insurance premium is often cheaper than the cost of replacing your important items, so it can be a lifesaver if the unfortunate occurs.

If you're looking to buy student insurance, here are some tips to lower the cost of your premium:

  • Consider what items you really need - Things like your laptop and phone are necessities, and you may have a bicycle to help you get around. Other items are less important. For example, you'll have little time to play a games console, so do you need to bring it with you?
  • Check your individual policies - Look at what other policies you already have to make sure you aren't doubling up. You may already have cover for your phone, leaving only your laptop to protect. Check the cost of student insurance against the price of individual gadget insurance to see which one works out better.
  • Pay annually - This isn't a suitable option for everyone due to the large upfront cost, but paying annually usually saves you money. Most insurers charge interest when paying monthly, so you pay slightly more over the year.
  • Increase the excess - Excess is a set amount you must pay whenever making a claim on your policy. Setting a higher excess often brings the price of your premium down. Make sure that the excess is still affordable in case you do need to make a claim.
  • Shop around - Check on comparison sites to see what prices are available with different insurers. Remember that the cheapest policy may not be the best for your needs. Always check customer reviews for the insurance provider before taking out a new policy. Genuine customer reviews can give you valuable insight to determine whether the provider is reputable.

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