With a record-breaking number of over 470,0001 students being accepted into UK universities and colleges this year, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is issuing a five step guide to remind students what they should be doing to look after their belongings. It is estimated that students now take £3,6582 worth of possessions to university on average, with 45% of students owning a tablet and 95% of students now owning a smartphone. This can make them a tempting target for thieves.
The ABI advises:
- Check your parents’ and university’s policy – Some insurers will add students to their parent’s contents insurance but there may be restrictions, check with your parent’s insurers to find out if you are covered and what the policy includes. Some universities may provide insurance to cover students’ possessions in halls of residence.
- Remember to check your student bank account - Your student bank account may offer certain types of insurance, like travel and mobile phone insurance, as part of the package. Make sure that you know exactly what you are already covered for before buying any additional insurance.
- Check that your belongings are covered – If belongings are damaged or stolen it will cost money to replace them so arrange insurance if you’re not already covered. It’s a competitive market, so shop around for the best deal.
- Check the value of your belongings – Make sure that you properly estimate how much your possessions are worth before getting contents insurance. Policies will have set limits on the size of any claims, so make sure the limits reflect the value of your possessions.
- Take necessary safety precautions - Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked when you leave your house to prevent thieves getting in easily. If you are living in shared accommodation, remember to make sure that your own room is locked when you leave the building. Remember to keep anything valuable in a place where it can’t be easily seen.
Laura Hughes, Policy Adviser for General Insurance at the ABI, said:
“University can be a really exciting time, but for many people it may be their first time being away from home. It is really important to make sure that your valuables are insured or you could end up losing out if your student accommodation is broken into, particularly with students taking on average nearly £4,000 worth of belongings to university.
“Students often aren’t aware that the areas where they live may be targeted by criminals who know that student houses can contain high value belongings. Make sure you have one less thing to worry about by arranging insurance cover to protect your possessions.”
Notes for Editors
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The Association of British Insurers is the leading trade association for insurers and providers of long term savings. Our 250 members include most household names and specialist providers who contribute £12bn in taxes and manage investments of £1.8trillion.