Students across the country will soon be setting off to university but aside from packing their belongings and preparing for Freshers Week, it’s also worth checking to see if their belongings are covered to avoid losing out financially.
Of all contents insurance policies on the market, 79 per cent will cover children when they are away studying at university, according to new research.
Yet this cover is not always automatic, the levels vary depending on the insurer, and there are some clauses hidden in the small print which if not followed could invalidate a policy.
79 per cent of contents policies will cover children when they are away studying
There are 419 contents insurance policies on the market and of those 79 per cent include children’s cover as standard while away studying, 5 per cent have it as an optional add-on, and 16 per cent provide no cover, according to the data shared exclusively with us from Defaqto.
The amount on offer is typically quite high with 65 per cent of policies providing cover of £5,000 or more.
This is to reflect the value of items the student is taking away with them including expensive items such as laptops, mobile phones and jewellery, and other belongings including clothes and books.
Yet there are some important clauses which need to be followed in order for claims to be made if something is lost, stolen or damaged.
Cover for accidental damage, for example, will only be included if the policy has this included. Many contents policies include accidental damage as an add-on and won’t cover it as standard.
Even if accidental damage is included, according to Defaqto more than 55 per cent of policies exclude certain types of technology and entertainment devices. These will be listed on the policy terms but if not call your insurer to check what’s included.
The cover for a student’s belongings usually only applies to items within the place of residence, or when travelling to and from their parent’s address. For cover in other locations, such as if they are visiting friends, on holiday, or at work, the parent’s policy will need to include personal possessions cover.
Most items will only be covered if the student’s bedroom has a lockable door
This is a paid-for add on with most insurance policies and covers items such as laptops and tablets when they’re outside of the home. It costs around £30 per year and there is usually a single item value limit of around £2,000.
When it comes to mobile phone cover, with 8 per cent of policies the limit is £350 or less which compared to the cost of most mobile phones is minimal. Therefore it’s worth double checking the limit, and any excess which would need to be paid when making a claim.
Most items will only be covered if the student’s bedroom has a lockable door. If the room is left unlocked in a shared house or halls of residence this will usually validate an insurance claim.
This is to prevent claims made if a student has let someone in their house or halls and something has gone missing or been damaged or stolen.
Some policies will also only cover items which have been forcibly removed, while those left unattended, such as a laptop in the library, usually won’t be covered.
If your child isn’t covered while at university, it’s possible the university accomodation may provide this free in the first year. If this is the case ask for a copy of the policy and check what is actually included.
If they aren’t covered, or the cover isn’t adequate, they can take out insurance while away. There are a number of specialist insurers, such as Endsleigh, but to make sure you’re getting the best-value price it’s worth checking with a comparison website to quickly compare multiple prices and policies.