Student contents insurance- all your questions answered
Off to university in September? Congratulations! Although this year may not be what you were imagining due to Covid, you’ll still be starting a new chapter of your life.
You’ve probably gone to IKEA to kit out your new pad and started preparing for your new life as a university student. One thing you may not have thought about yet is getting insurance.
We teamed up with UNIDAYS to run a survey, and found that 51% of students say they have no idea what contents insurance even is!
This article is to help you understand why you might need insurance when you head to university. It’ll also run through some helpful tips to look out for when you buy insurance.
- What is student contents insurance?
- Do I need contents insurance as a student?
- What’s the best students home contents insurance?
- Are accidents covered for students?
- Can I get contents insurance in student halls of residence?
- Am I covered in a student house/ flatshare?
- Do I need a lock on my room to be insured?
- Will my stuff in common areas be covered?
- Can I buy short-term student contents insurance?
What is student contents insurance?
Contents insurance is a type of policy which protects the stuff that you own. This is your personal items from your clothes to your laptops and phone. Contents insurance is usually for students and/or those that rent properties as opposed to owning a property.
As a renter you do not need to have homeowners insurance, often referred to as home insurance. This is for the structure of the house or flat and is your landlord's responsibility.
You can read more about understanding contents insurance and comparing policies in our ultimate guide here.
Do I need contents insurance as a student?
As with most insurance, it’s completely up to you if you want to cover yourself.
You may think you don’t have enough belongings as a student to get insurance but your stuff is probably worth more than you think.
Should the worst happen, would you be able to afford to replace all your belongings? Especially living off a student budget. Think about all your stuff that you slowly accumulate like your phone, clothes, laptop, headphones, games console and many more.
One thing you should check before buying student contents insurance is if you’re covered on your parents policy as some will cover for student halls of residence.
If you’re working out whether it’s worth covering you can use our helpful contents calculator to add up your stuff.
What’s the best students home contents insurance?
As always with the traditional insurance industry, it may feel a little confusing when you first start looking at policies. Ultimately you want to find a policy that suits your personal circumstances the most.
We've outlined some common questions we receive about student contents insurance and some types of insurance you may want to keep an eye out for.
Are accidents covered for students?
Accidental damage refers to unexpected and unintended damage or breakage. This would have been caused by a single, sudden and one-off event which was unforeseeable. Accidental damage is usually useful for those who have children, pets or are students.
Very few insurance policies include accidental damage as a standard. It’s always worth checking the policy documents as you may be able to add it on.
At Urban Jungle we understand accidents happen so we include it as standard to our contents insurance policy from just £5 per month.
Can I get contents insurance in student halls of residence?
Yes, with Urban Jungle you can cover your belongings in student halls if your room has an exact address- “Room 12, 102 Example Address, EX1 1AM”.
Many insurance policies will also cover you if you live in student halls. It’s always worth checking the policy document for this as it may have some terms.
If you share living areas with other students, you may need to add 'Common Areas Cover'. This will cover your belongings you keep in those spaces (like a shared kitchen or lounge).
Usually for cover to apply the common areas must be kept locked, not open to the public, and theft is not covered unless there are signs of forcible entry. Common areas cover is usually an add-on so it's worth keeping an eye out for.
See further down about locks on doors!
Am I covered in a student house/ flatshare?
Many contents insurance providers will not cover shared houses or flats. From most traditional insurers’ perspective, the higher the number of people insured, the higher the risk – especially if they don’t have access to everyone’s claims history.
Urban Jungle doesn't agree with this way of thinking and has designed policies for sharing renters. Just because renters tend to live with others doesn't mean they're not house proud and should not be discriminated against.
With Urban Jungle, you can be covered if you live in a house of 4 unrelated people (not family) and up to 6 if 3 people are family.
We’ve put together a guide of insurance providers which cover house shares which you can compare here.
Do I need a lock on my room to be insured?
Many insurers will require you to have a lock on your door if you are in a shared flat or house. This is usually to ensure that your housemates or the people you’re staying with do not pose a risk to your stuff.
Luckily for you, Urban Jungle does not require you to have a lock on your individual room if you live in a shared flat or house but cover will not apply to theft if there are no signs of forcible entry. If you are insuring your room in halls of residential, you will need a lock on your room to be covered.
Whether your insurance provider requires a lock or not you may want to request your landlord to add one anyway. Although you'll know your housemates you may not know the people they bring into your home. It's also an extra precaution if someone forgets to lock the front door, it may prevent theft of the stuff in your room.
Will my stuff in common areas be covered?
If you’re renting a house or a flat with other tenants the likelihood is you’ll have communal shared areas. These include kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. It’s always worth checking with your insurer if your stuff would be covered in these areas. This is because many have different rules and may depend on the type of claim.
With Urban Jungle, as you don’t need a lock on your room in a shared flat or house and your communal areas will be covered under your home insurance. The same condition applies, cover will not apply to theft if there are no signs to forcible entry. If you are in halls of residence you will need a lock on your room, see the section above ‘Can I get contents insurance in student halls of residence?’.
What about our shared hallways in a flat?
You may share hallways, porches and other common areas with those who live in the same building. Many insurers will not cover these areas so items left here will be at your own risk. At Urban Jungle we’ve made sure you can cover these areas and you have an optional add on called ‘common areas’ in the journey.
Can I buy short-term student contents insurance?
As a student, you may find you don’t need cover for the whole year since you will move your stuff back to your parents during the holidays. In this case, it may be good to look out for monthly contents insurance as opposed to yearly.
Monthly contents insurance will be a more economical way to cover your stuff only when you need to. Be careful to do a good comparison as some insurers may charge extra interest to pay monthly or have fees to cancel your insurance.
At Urban Jungle we’re shaking up student insurance by providing you with monthly insurance with no cancellation fees giving you the flexibility to cover your stuff only when you need it.