Insuring yourself as a Student?

On Tuesday, 27th July 2010, in Student Saving Tips, University Life, by David

Going to Uni is September? If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands that’s preparing to move out of your parents’ house and begin the long, arduous journey through studenthood, there’s probably all kinds of questions going through your mind: – things like how many aftershocks is too many, and how do clothes go from the washing basket to being clean, exactly? (The answers to those questions, incidentally, are eleven and fairies, respectively). You might also be wondering whether you can blag your parents into buying you a laptop to take with you, but I bet you’re not considering keeping all your stuff safe, are you?

I know it’s not exactly exciting to think about, but all that stuff you’re taking with you in the shape of phones, computers, clothes and the rest is pretty expensive, and if something disastrous were to happen, would you be able to afford to replace it all? Well, without proper insurance if the worst happens you could be left hundreds or thousands of pounds out of pocket, and I know from my own experience that raising that sort of money when you’re in university isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do.

This is where contents insurance comes in to play. What this does is simple – it covers the contents of your room from things like fire and theft, but doesn’t include the building itself, as that’s your landlord’s responsibility. This means that the amount covered is lower, the account is easier to manage, and you’re less likely to claim, which are all things that insurance companies love. Covering everything in your room (even stuff you’re likely to take out with you such as phones or bikes) can be covered for just a few pounds a month, and there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do it.

If you’re going to cover yourself you’d best do it properly though, so here’s a few hints and tips to get you going:

However, make sure you insure yourself properly; if you’re not covered right, the policy you have could end up being worth less than the paper it’s printed on. Here’s a few quick tips to get you going:

Make Sure You Have Enough Cover
You’d be absolutely amazed how quickly the value of your stuff tots up – laptops, ipods, phones, shoes, clothes, TVs, DVD players, games consoles… the list goes on. You’ve probably got a few thousand pounds worth of stuff knocking around your room, so make sure you know just how much you’ve got there.

Decrease the Amount of Stuff You Have
Look at all the stuff in your room at the moment. How much of it will you really need, and how much of it would you miss if you didn’t take it with you? If you have drawers you haven’t opened in months or years, just tip them straight into the bin, you won’t need them after all. You should also look at selling stuff too: EBay, Car Boot Sales and their ilk are your friends here. CDs you don’t listen to, DVDs you’ve watched to death, games you’re never going to complete: – all these things can make you a few quid and save you money on your premiums.

Another thing to consider is leaving stuff at home, although this would require you to have far nicer parents than mine – but I’m sure that’s no problem.

Make Your Digs More Secure
I know I said that your insurance doesn’t cover the building, and it doesn’t – but if the stuff you own is locked away in a veritable Fort Knox, it’s going to cost you less to protect it. Speak to your landlord about fitting things like a NACOSS approved alarm, 5 Lever Mortice Locks and double bolt windows, as all these things will keep your insurance down.

I know that I said that contents insurance doesn’t include the building itself, but consider this: If the house you live in is a veritable stronghold, then there’s less chance of your stuff being stolen or damaged. Speak to your landlord about fitting things like a NACOSS approved alarm, double bolt windows and mortice locks if they haven’t already; not only will it make your insurance cheaper, his will cost less too.

Many thanks to Moneysupermarket.co.uk for writing this guest post for us. If you are interested in writing a guest post please get in contact with me, via the Contact Me button above.

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