Students shouldn’t be tempted to save by skimping on insuring their possessions. The average student owns around £3,000 worth of property. One-quarter of students living in halls will be robbed, with most burglaries happening in the first weeks of term when it’s easiest for strangers to wander around unchallenged. Thieves have their eye out for valuable, portable gear, such as laptops and portable music players.

Your parents’ home contents insurance may permit an extension to protect your belongings at university, but it’s often limited to items kept in your locked room.

It will often make better sense to arrange your own insurance, and many companies and banks specialise in providing student possessions insurance.

Shop around

Do your research online or on the phone to gather a few quotes and details of what each policy will, and won’t, cover. Many insurers offer discounts if you purchase a policy online.

The cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best – read the policy documentation carefully, and pay particular attention to the following:

  • Excess. Almost all policies have an excess. This is the amount of any claim that you will have to pay yourself. A high excess will reduce your premium, but may mean you won’t have enough money to replace your belongings if you do have to make a claim.
  • Single item limit. This is the maximum value a single item can be worth. Anything worth more than this amount will not be covered, unless you declare it separately and pay extra. Note that sets or collections, such as your CDs, are counted as a single item.
  • In-room/out-of-room cover. If your belongings aren’t in your room, they may not be covered. This means you may have to pay extra to cover a laptop computer if it’s not in your room or usual address.
  • Unforced entry. Some policies won’t pay for claims if the thief didn’t force entry to your room or building. If you live in a hall, or even independent student digs, it’s hard to be sure everyone locks the doors all the time. Look for a policy that will cover unforced entry.
  • Holiday cover. Find out if belongings left in a locker or trunk room at university during holiday periods will be covered.
  • Bicycle, musical instruments etc. Expensive items like these will usually attract an additional premium. If you’re happy to ride a cheap, second-hand bike then it may not be worth the additional expense to cover it.
  • Other extras. Some student policies pay a bulk sum if a parent that provides you with financial support dies, or if you have to give up your course because of illness. You’re not obliged to take up these extras, so make sure such extras are worth the additional cost.

You should expect to pay between £20 and £50 for basic cover for £3,000 of possessions.

The premium will depend on the type of accommodation you live in and where you live. Halls of residence tend to be cheaper than digs, and big cities tend to be more expensive than smaller towns.

Author's Bio: 

Christian is an author of several articles pertaining to Insurance. He is known for his expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles.