Four in ten university students turn a blind eye to contents insurance

While the majority of students bring valuable possessions with them when they start university, not all see the value in protecting them with quality contents insurance.

In a new study cited by the Hastings & St. Leonards Observer, 44% of students from the South East of England don’t have home contents cover in place, while 15% were unsure as to whether they have it or not. 

While the study focuses on the South East region, we can assume that it is a similar picture across the UK. This is a cause for concern, as without adequate cover in place, students put themselves – and their belongings – at risk. Most students rely on a loan to live and have limited cash flow, so having an uninsured laptop or bike stolen could cause real financial strain. 

Bottom of the to-do list 

When the students were asked why they haven’t taken out contents insurance, one third said that they simply haven’t got round to it. A further 17% said they assumed that their landlord had sorted it out for them. 

There’s certainly a case for arguing that both letting agents and landlords have a part to play in educating students on contents cover. While landlords are responsible for protecting the actual property with their own, tailored policy, tenants must be made aware that it’s down to them to cover their own belongings. 

Valuing possessions 

When asked to calculate the value of contents in their university accommodation, 32% of students estimated the total to be between £1,000 and £2,499. Meanwhile, 24% predicted their possessions to be worth £2,500 and over.

With underinsurance rife in the UK, students need to make sure they spend time calculating the total value of their belongings. From cooking equipment to coursebooks, clothes to laptops, it’s surprising how quickly item costs add up – so, it could be worth suggesting a free, online contents calculator for students to use. 

In the study, almost all students said they own a mobile phone (98%) and laptop (93%), but many also bring their TV (56%), games consoles (32%), designer clothes (24%) and sports equipment (20%) with them to university, too. 

Don’t take the risk 

While students looking to save cash may skip taking out contents insurance, adopting the mindset of ‘it won’t happen to me,’ the reality is that student homes are often targeted by thieves. In fact, 5% of students from the South East said that they have had their homes broken into, with just over one third (35%) expressing concerns about being burgled. 

The research found that criminals are more likely to target detached houses (51%) than other types of property. This is worrying, considering that a significant 27% of students polled for the study live in detached homes.

A small price to pay 

As well as protecting possessions in the event of theft, contents insurance can also cover things like fire damage, accidental damage and emergency repairs. 

Working with Stride Let Protect, letting agents and landlords can offer students our comprehensive tenants contents insurance. This policy includes cover for personal effects and accidental damage for landlords contents, as well as benefits like up to £50,000 legal costs cover for disputes. 

Other policy features students may find useful include cover for items taken outside of the home, as well as up to £500 of bicycle insurance.

With well over 40 years of experience in the property insurance sector, tenants, landlords and letting agents alike can rest assured that with Stride, they’re in exceptionally safe hands. So, to speak to one of our in-house experts about tenants contents insurance, get in touch today.

Sources: 

http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/contents-insurance-not-a-priority-for-two-fifths-of-students-in-south-east-claims-study-1-8154301

Published: 6th December 2017
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