Student contents insurance 2024
Do you need to get contents insurance as a student? It can really pay off to insure your belongings against theft, loss and damage with cheap (but effective) student insurance.
5% of students in our latest Student Accommodation Survey said they had experienced a break-in or burglary.
Unfortunately, students are a prime target for crime, especially around freshers' week. Loads move into their uni accommodation at once, bringing new gadgets with them.
Many students assume that contents insurance is too expensive or unnecessary. That is until the worst happens.
Buying cheap student contents insurance can save you a lot of stress and money later – see our list of the top examples below.
What's in this guide?
Best contents insurance for students
Here's where to get the cheapest student insurance that fully protects your possessions:
Cover4Insurance is our most recommended student insurance provider in 2024. They specialise in student insurance exclusively and so provide the best value for university accommodation.
All student insurance includes "Walk In Theft" cover, which means you are not required to have a lock on your bedroom door.
There are a variety of options and prices available depending on what items you want to protect.
To get a wider range of prices and insurance policies (not student-specific), head to the comparison site MoneySuperMarket.
MoneySuperMarket compares dozens of the largest insurance providers to find the best price for your situation.
Simply fill out one form about your living situation and the value of your items. You'll then be shown a list of contents insurance providers and policies. Sort them by the best price, claim experience, quality score and cover level.
Arma Karma offers a monthly subscription that insures individual items such as your phone, laptop, watch or bike.
This comprehensive yet cheap insurance protects your most valuable belongings against loss, theft and accidental damage in your accommodation, outside and abroad.
You can also support a good cause through your subscription at no extra cost.
Right now get an exclusive 15% off Arma Karma policies via this link using the code StudentSave15.
Protect Your Bubble
Similarly to Arma Karma, Protect Your Bubble's contents insurance policies are well-suited to young people.
They offer cheap insurance cover for individual gadgets, and an exclusive 15% student discount on their policies.
If you tend to lose and break specific things all the time, good gadget insurance is well worthwhile.
Protect Your Bubble's insurance policies cover everything from theft to cracked phone screens.
Contents insurance from your bank
Cheap contents insurance is sometimes offered as an incentive by a number of student banks.
There's no guarantee it will be cheaper than a company like Cover4Insurance, but worth scoping out.
Bank insurance offers won't show up on contents insurance comparison sites, so check with your bank directly.
Head over to our review of current student bank account offers below to find out more.
What is contents insurance?
Contents insurance insures the contents of your accommodation in case of loss or damage.
Basic contents insurance will cover your belongings when they are in your house or halls. This will normally protect you from theft, loss, general damage, earthquakes, lightning, falling trees (seriously) and water damage.
If you want to add an additional layer of protection that will cover your possessions when you're out of the house (i.e. when you're carrying valuables like your mobile phone, camera or laptop), look at personal protection or extra gadget insurance.
Do students need contents insurance?
Given that one in twenty students in our latest accommodation survey have been burgled or experienced a break-in, we would suggest that students take out contents insurance. Policies can cover loss and damage too.
University halls may provide a basic level of student insurance but don't always communicate this to students.
This free student insurance only covers a limited range of items, and normally, they must be in your room at the time of a break-in, with doors and windows fully secured.
So if you leave your laptop in a communal area and it's stolen, you likely won't be covered.
If there's no forced entry (i.e. you've left your door or window open), you may not be covered either.
Taking out your own full-cover student insurance policy is cheap enough and will give you proper peace of mind.
Are students covered by their parents' contents insurance?
Before buying a student insurance policy yourself, check to see if you're covered by your parents' home or contents insurance policy.
While this isn't as common as it used to be, you could save yourself some serious money.
For example, some policies will cover students as long as they regularly return home at least once within a set time frame.
If you don't currently come under your parents' insurance policy, it's worth asking them to call up and ask for a quote to add you. It may work out as cheaper than a completely separate policy.
How does contents insurance work?
These are the key things to know before taking out a contents insurance policy:
What is an insurance policy excess?
The excess on a contents insurance policy is the maximum amount that you agree to pay should you make a claim, and will be deducted from your payout if you do.
For example, if your laptop is covered for £900 and your excess is £25, you'll get a payout of £875.
A high excess can be both good and bad
Most of the time you can choose how much your excess is. The higher the excess you agree to pay, the lower your premium will usually be.
'Premium' is just a fancy word for the cost of your policy, which you can pay upfront or in monthly instalments.
Agreeing to a higher excess is a good option for people who never lose stuff and are generally good at looking after their belongings. The chances of needing to make a claim (and pay the excess) are lower for them.
Similarly, it's a good option to go for if you know you'll be able to pay the excess without it affecting your finances too much.
However, if you're always losing or damaging your belongings (smashed phone on a night out, anyone?), and are unlikely to have enough spare cash to cover an excess, it could help to keep your excess to a minimum.
Some things will cost extra to insure
Bikes, laptops and other high-value goods will often have to be added on top of your contents insurance policy. This is especially the case if you tend to carry them around with you.
Accidental damage is also not always covered by some policies.
Always pay close attention to the small print.
Buildings insurance isn't your responsibility
As we're sure you're already aware, you don't have to worry about buildings insurance. That's your landlord's job.
Similarly, it's your landlord's responsibility to insure any objects in the house that belong to them. We're talking beds, sofas, wardrobes – basically, anything that comes with the property when you move in.
Of course, that doesn't mean you're excused from paying for any damage to the home.
If you smash a window while playing football in the living room, chances are they'll hold you responsible and make you cough up to save them from making an insurance claim.
It's your responsibility to insure your possessions
While your landlord is responsible for insuring the building and any of their own possessions, protecting your belongings is entirely your responsibility.
Although they may have a policy to cover any of the furnishings in the property, we must stress that this almost certainly won't include your things. Never assume your landlord has you covered!
How much does student contents insurance cost?
Perhaps most importantly of all, it's important to know how much you should be paying. After all, how do you know you've got a good deal if you don't know what the going rate is anyway?
Cover4Insurance has confirmed to us that their cover starts at a minimum of £20 a year (correct at the time of writing). The cost varies depending on what you're covering and its value.
Of course, this will depend on a number of different factors, including whether or not you're living in halls, and how many people are in your house.
Generally speaking, we'd say you should be paying under £100 a year for your contents insurance. And to get the best deals, you'll need to use our tips.
How to get cheap student insurance
Here are the best ways to get cheap student contents insurance:
Shop around and compare the market
Make sure you shop around and get lots of quotes from different insurance companies.
Using price comparison websites like MoneySuperMarket makes this very easy. Above all else, this is the best way to ensure you get a good deal.
Haggle for a better deal
It's absolutely fine to haggle with insurers.
If you find a better quote from another company, note it down and tell other insurers on the phone about the deal you've found.
Often you'll find they're willing to fight for your custom by offering you an even better deal.
Decide what you want to insure
If you're not that bothered about your old phone that's only worth a fiver, it doesn't make sense to pay to insure it. The fewer items you insure, the less your policy will cost.
Look after your possessions
This one is just common sense, but always make sure you're super careful with your stuff. We know we sound like your parents here, but every time you make a claim, the cost of your student insurance will increase.
It's unbelievable how many incidents are caused by drunken mishaps and unlocked doors. And anything you can do to protect your house from burglars is always helpful.
Pay upfront if you can
If you can afford to part with the lump sum, pay annually rather than monthly. The cost of paying in one go is usually less than making 12 monthly payments.
This is also a good bartering tool as insurers actually prefer you to pay upfront (as it guarantees their income). So, try using it to bring the price down.
Read the small print
Knowing your insurance package inside out is the only way to avoid costly mistakes. You don't want any nasty surprises when you later discover that you're not covered for that cracked screen after all.
Pay for your contents insurance online
Many companies will offer their best rates online to sell their packages with minimum interaction.
Just note that this also makes it harder to haggle, so consider saving an online quote and calling them up to try to reduce it.
Are you just interested in getting your mobile insured? Check out our guide to cheap phone insurance.