Reality bites: half of students 'no contents cover

How many students are thinking of contents insurance or worrying how much their possessions are worth – or even thinking that one in three of them will become a victim of theft?

Students join a unique group who own more expensive consumer goods than the rest of the population – the top three being laptop, i-pod and TV set. Not to mention designer clothes.

We've had a look at the facts and come up with some simple solutions to avoid disaster and keep covered the easy way – saving you a lot of time, money and worry:

  1. Why half of students don't have contents cover
  2. Save time, save money: check the parents' policy
  3. What to look out for: student home contents insurance
Why half of student's don't have contents cover

Students underestimate the value of their possessions, which makes it easy to justify not bothering with the paper work – or with the added expense of contents cover.

Where would you be without your laptop? Without any home insurance contents cover it's time, money and hassle to start over.

This is the reality for 52% of students who don't have contents insurance and as a result face student life without apps, TVs or bicycles according to research by M&S money.

Some 1 in 3 of students is the victim of crime, with the top three crimes being theft-related.

Added to that, young people are around three times more likely to be victims of burglary than other people – making students all the more vulnerable – according to the Home Office. Next to the excitement of moving into a new place and the fact that most students underestimate the value of their possessions, it's easy to understand how contents insurance seems pretty dull and gets overlooked.

This could leave uninsured students facing a hefty bill to replace stolen equipment when money is tight.

Top ten valuables students keep in their university bedroom 1985 v 2010 (% figure shows number of students who keep or kept item in their bedroom):
1985 2010
1. Alarm radio (59%) 1. Laptop (55%)
2. Scientific calculator (52%) 2. MP3 Player (48%)
3. Hi-Fi (43%) 3. Regular TV (29%)
4. Digital watch (36%) 4. Digital camera (27%)
5. Walkman (35%) 5. MP3 speakers (23%)
6. Black & White TV (34%) 6. Stereo/music system (21%)
7. Ghetto blaster (31%) 7. Widescreen TV (20%)
8. Turntable (24%) 8. DVD player (18%)
9. Breville toaster (14%) 9. PC (9%)
10. Landline phone (8%) 10. Camcorder (9%)

Save time, save money: check the parents' policy
Here's the good news.
One simple check of the parents' home insurance policy could save time and money on new cover.

Make sure to check that the insurance offers full cover though.

According to NFU Mutual, as many as 82% of home insurance products also cover student belongings, meaning one less hidden cost for parents who often shell out thousands on expensive fees and equipment.

Paul Richardson, home insurance specialist at NFU Mutual, said:Out of all home contents policies on the market, four in every five provide some cover for student possessions as standard, but it's worth checking the amounts insured too.

Once student accommodation becomes stuffed full of high-value possessions, it can often become rich pickings for criminals.

Richardson concluded: “Whether student possessions are covered under a parent's policy or an individual policy, it's imperative they are fully covered.

Keeping you and your contents safe

  • protect yourself with insurance
  • mark your property: Uni initials... student ID
  • lock up whenever you go out
  • in a hall of residence, lock your bedroom door
  • call 08701 123 123 to immobilise your mobile
  • keep cards and chequebooks separately
  • always lock your car

What to look out for: student home contents insurance

Now that you've read the facts and reasons why students and young people are so at risk of theft and crime in general, we've saved you time in your search for home insurance contents cover for students by looking at a few leading names.

Before you do:

  • Do you have full cover already with parents' home insurance? Check under contents.
  • How much are the student's possessions really worth?
  • Are you living in London, Birmingham, Manchester or Bristol? Check the top 20 UK theft hotspots list now.

Even if you're already covered, it's worth considering switching and saving money.

We've checked the top three comparison sites and other leading insurers:

Insurer

Best bit

NFU Mutual

No claims bonuses. Five star ‘excellent' rating from Defaqto, the financial ratings company.

Gocompare.com

No comparison – we were taken to Endsleigh's site when searching for student contents.

Endsleigh

Save 30% on contents insurance when you buy as a group in a shared house.

Cover-for-students.com

Clearly defined campus contents and campus block halls insurance deals.

1985 2010
1. Alarm radio (59%) 1. Lapto