Insurance for students
Broken mobile phone Paying for insurance just in case something goes wrong might seem like throwing money away..
..but it could save you a bundle in the long run.
Contents insurance covers the things in your house or flat. Most policies cover theft, fire and flood damage and will apply to the things you own up to a certain value. There might also be additional cover for specific things like computer equipment. Some things may not be covered – for example, cash or credit cards – unless you pay extra.
If something is damaged or stolen, the insurance company will usually pay you the cost of replacing it new. Some items might have special cover: for example, if your laptop is stolen, the insurance company might loan you one until it can be replaced.
Some companies offer special insurance schemes for students. For example, Cover4Students is specifically aimed at students, while Endsleigh’s was founded by - and is still recommended by - the NUS.
The cost of contents insurance depends on the value of the items it covers. However, if you’re staying in halls you might already be covered, so check with Student Services before paying for a policy you don’t need!
Contents insurance doesn’t usually cover things you take outside your home, so expensive items like a laptop or jewellery could be at risk. You can choose to protect these things as well, but you will have to pay extra. This extra cover is known as at-risk cover.
Some things, like musical instruments or bikes, are unlikely to be covered by contents insurance. If you want to insure these items, you’ll have to do this separately. It’s not all bad, though, as this separate insurance will usually mean your valuables are better covered: for example, your instrument would normally be covered if you took it to a rehearsal or performance.
If you’re planning to drive while at university, you’re legally required to have car insurance. There are a few different levels:
Third party is the legal minimum. It covers the legal cost of injuries you cause to other people or damage you cause to other people’s property when driving. It won’t cover any damage to your own car.
Third party, fire and theft is the most common kind of car insurance. It offers the same cover as third party insurance, and will also cover you if your car is stolen or is damaged by fire or attempted theft.
Comprehensive insurance covers all of the above plus lots more, such as damage to your car and replacement of windows and windscreens.
Level of cover isn’t the only thing your insurance cost depends on. The kind of car you have will make a difference, with expensive or powerful cars costing more. Age also matters: younger drivers almost always pay more, which can be bad news for students. However, insurers are no longer allowed to take gender into account when deciding how much to charge for insurance.
The best way to bring down the cost of car insurance is to make yourself seem less of a risk. You could take the Pass Plus course to show your driving skill and experience, or fit security devices like car alarms.