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What is student content insurance? 

Going away to university could mean you will be staying in either student halls, or shared accommodation, or finding privately rented accommodation close to college. 

Much like tenants insurance, students content insurance protects your contents whilst you’re living in your accommodation away from your main family home. This can cover laptops, clothes, furniture, and bikes (some insurers will also include gadgets).

Student content insurance will protect your belongings in the event of fire, theft, damage or flooding. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that it will be replaced, saving money on what can be a costly process. 

What should I look for in student content insurance?

There are many factors to consider, so it is a good idea to compare different student house insurance policies, to see what each insurer can offer you, and the extent to which you will be covered. 

It used to be the case that students had a few, low value possessions like a bicycle and clothes. 

Now most students have an arrange of expensive gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, wearable technology and smart watches, new bikes and possibly musical instruments as well.

Find out about musical instrument insurance and compare quotes with Uswitch

For this reason, it is really important to ensure that your possessions are protected in your student accommodation and while you are travelling between home and college.

Read more about home insurance with our Uswitch Guide What is home insurance?

What is my landlord responsible for?

Home insurance will cover you if something happens to your place of living or its contents. 

There are two types of cover, buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance 

Buildings insurance covers the structure of the property. The outside details, like the walls, roof. This is the area that your landlord should take care of to protect their house or apartment. Normally you do not need to arrange buildings insurance unless you actually own the accommodation you are living in.

Contents insurance

Your main area of concern will be contents insurance, as this covers the possessions inside the home, that is your flat, house or shared accommodation .

Contents insurance is no the responsibility of the landlord. However, they might offer you a basic level of cover, but you shouldn’t rely on this solely to protect your items. Compare different policies to find a policy that covers all of the valuables you.

This takes into consideration situations, such as a break in, damage to property, or fire or water damage. In the event that something does happen, without insurance, there’s only so much you might be able to afford to replace. 

What will student content insurance cover?

As a student, your contents insurance can cover more or less everything in your home up to an agreed limit. You might be required to list each item separately if they exceed a certain amount.

The standard items you might want to cover on you home insurance policy include:

  • Clothes and towels

  • Books, CDs, DVDs and digital media

  • Gadgets and electronics

The standard items you might want to cover on you home insurance policy include:

  • Clothes and towels

  • Books, CDs, DVDs and digital media

  • Gadgets and electronics

  • Cutlery and crockery

  • Jewellery (below a certain value)

  • Furniture, curtains and bedding

  • Vases, antiques and ornaments

  • Bikes (but sometimes only when they stay on the premises)

However, not all insurance providers cover you for the above items in their standard package. Some will require you buy additional insurance cover and this could also include additional cover for accidental damage.

Why should I get student contents insurance? 

Student accommodation can often be a target for burglaries and theft. 

If you left home and your parents already had contents insurance, don’t assume that you will also be covered under your parent’s insurance policy.

If an accident happens, then personal belongings are at risk of being damaged. Having home contents insurance will pay out to help you replace the items. This would also be the case if you were an unfortunate victim of burglary. You can have items, such as your TV, or furniture replaced. 

Unfortunately, students are sometimes a target for muggings for laptops and phones as they travel between campus and home, particularly in the first term of university. Having insurance that covers your possessions away from your student digs can protect you if this happens.

Am I covered for my student belongings under my parents’ home insurance policy?

You will probably not be covered under your parents’ home insurance although you can ask them to check the small print of their own policy.

When you are living in your student accommodation, some items you take out of the home will not always be insured once they leave the home. So if you damaged your mobile phone or bicycle or had them stolen outside of the house then your student home insurance provider may not cover it unless you have additional cover. 

What is excluded from student contents insurance or tenants insurance?

Accidental damage home insurance is usually an extra you have to pay for with your tenants home insurance. This covers your items against accidents like dropping your laptop on the floor or damaging furnishings like sofas or curtains. 

Some insurers won’t offer tenants insurance if the flat or house they live in came furnished by the landlord.

In most cases you will need personal possessions cover to insure items outside of the home.

Read our guides to mobile phone insurance and on bicycle insurance to learn more about getting separate cover for items you regularly take out of the house.

What student contents insurance should I buy if I lived in a shared flat or house?

Some students will opt for a flat share, either for the company or the reduction in living costs. 

Insurance companies will see home sharing as a bigger risk to insure. The more people living together, the more risk of accidental damage or a door being left unlocked, so you might find it harder to get appropriate cover.

Taking out joint cover with your housemates however, could lower the costs of contents insurance, but would involve having an agreement on payments and responsibility. Shop around, compare and find the cheapest, most relevant policy for you and your housemates.

How can I get cheap student contents insurance?

Compare policies - student contents insurance can prove to be very useful, so make sure you shop around and compare insurance policies, to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

Terms and conditions - always read the terms and conditions of the policy to make sure you’ll be getting sufficient cover

Excess - know what your excess is (how much you will have to pay to make a claim). It won’t be worth paying an excess of £200 for an item that costs £250. 

Don’t over insure - don’t add items that could be easily replaced, without affecting your premiums

Additional cover - get additional coverage if you know you have expensive items in the home that are at risk of theft of damage

Key cover - consider key cover as this this can cover the cost of lost keys or a locksmith. Don’t make assumptions - Don’t assume you are covered under your parents home insurance policy

Security systems - if you or your landlord have very good security systems in place, then make sure you mention this when you are getting a home insurance quote. This could reduce the cost of your cover.

Tuition fee insurance cover - this is something to consider as it can cover you for tuition fees or rent cover protection if you become ill or have to leave your course early. In some instances it can also cover exam resits. 

How do I make a claim on student contents insurance?

If you feel you need to make a claim once you have taken out your insurance, it’s important to contact your provider as soon as possible to make an insurance claim. 

Keep your policy number and details of your insurance in a safe and accessible place, as that is likely to be the first information that will be asked of you.

Make sure you have as much evidence as possible so that you are prepared for a quicker process and smoother claim. This could include receipts, photographs or police reports. 

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