For freshers and seasoned students alike, the start of the academic year is time of excitement and preparation. With the beginning of the new semester, packing your bags and moving into to new digs, there are plenty of things to organise and put in place.
Who’s the best broadband provider?
Where’s the nearest supermarket?
And not least, what kind of insurance do I need to cover my stuff?
There are so many other expenses to think about at the beginning of term. Is it worth it?
You might be tempted to overlook getting insurance; after all, you have so many other expenses to think about at the beginning of term. Is it worth it?
A crucial expense
According to The Complete University Guide, one-third of students will become victims of crime while at university. Around 20 per cent of student robberies occur in the first six weeks of the academic year, so it is crucial that students ensure they are prepared before the start of term.
Will your landlord or parents’ insurance cover your belongings where you are going to live?
You might think your possessions are covered by your landlord, or parents’ home insurance. This is usually not the case. Landlords need buildings insurance but are unlikely to have any cover for your possessions.
Some insurers can add students to parents' contents policy, but this is not always done automatically and the cover they receive could be limited. You should check what your parents’ contents insurance covers and if it covers all the possessions you have with you.
Compare insurance policies to find the best deal
When it comes to the essentials in life, you might decide that you can’t live without the gym, contact lenses, a mobile phone contract or a certain broadband speed, whereas other people might happily categorise these as optional extras. If you do consider these types of things essential items, then at least following the rule will make you think hard about what is really essential and what isn’t, or if there’s a cheaper way of achieving the same result.
Check what’s covered
Don’t make any assumptions about what will be covered by your insurance policy. Some have special features and take into account jewellery, individual electronic devices or other specialist equipment such as sports gear that you might have.
Just think how your life would grind to a halt without your laptop or phone to hand. It’s worth checking the policy’s details up front and listing individual items of value to make sure that if the worst happens, you’re covered. Equally, make sure you know what the limitations of the cover are. Is your stuff only insured against theft or does it include loss and accidental damage? Will it only be covered while in your locked room or will it include communal areas? Does it include when you take items out of the place you live or is it only for in your home?
Check when you will be insured
If you’re going to leave your possessions in your digs during the holidays, make sure your insurance policy covers holiday times and isn’t term time only.
The excess is the amount you will pay if you make a claim. For example a claim you make for £250 with an excess of £50 will result in you receiving £200. A good way of reducing the cost of the insurance premium (what you’re charged for your policy) is agreeing to have a higher excess. You can also build up a no claims discount (NCD) which can be applied in subsequent years and make a difference to your premium.
Most policies will have exclusions such as term time only cover or walk-in theft (where there is no sign of forced entry) so it’s worth checking what’s not covered. You can often choose to pay an extra premium for add-ons that will cover for other eventualities if you’d rather have that peace of mind.
Once you’ve got your insurance sorted, you can relax knowing you’ve got your gadgets, gear and your other valuables covered.