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One-third of students without contents insurance

One-third of students without contents insurance

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 26/09/2014
First Published: 26/09/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

When preparing to go off to university there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do. Packing, buying the essentials, making travel arrangements and setting up a student account fill the days running up to the big move, so it's no wonder that some students forget all about buying contents insurance.


According to research carried out by Sainsbury's Bank, nearly a third of students (30%) revealed that they had not bought cover for their possessions. A further 13% were unsure whether they had cover or not, which highlights the low priority assigned to securing contents insurance.

It also appears that the failure to get insurance is not due to cover being provided by parents – only 14% of students surveyed believed that home insurance bought by their parents would protect their own things when living away from home.

Expensive gadgets

It can be easy to underestimate the cost of the things you own, but with more and more students bringing expensive gadgets with them, the total cost of contents can soon add up.

For instance, the research found that around 80% of students owned a smartphone, while nearly one in three (32%) had an iPad or tablet. An additional 65% of those surveyed had an MP3 player.

However, as Tom Thomson of Sainsbury's Home Insurance points out, even without the gadgets "all the little things add up". Clothes, cooking equipment, bikes, kettles and toasters (among other things) are easily forgotten about but could burn a considerable hole in your pocket if you had to replace them all yourself.

In fact, by combining these every day items with the more expensive gadgets, it is estimated that the average student now has belongings worth over £2,500 in their university accommodation. That's a lot of money to come out of a student budget should they be lost or stolen.

Student finances

Student budgets have always been a little on the small side, but they are starting to shrink even further. Student income is falling by around 14%, which means that more and more students have to make sacrifices in order to make ends meet. This means that bottom-of-the-list expenses, such as contents insurance, could be cut to balance the books. As a result, more and more students may be heading off to university with their belongings unprotected.

What to do?

Going to university is often a steep learning curve for students, especially when it comes to managing their finances. However, forgetting to buy contents insurance, or deciding not to bother, is one thing that should definitely be avoided.

So if you, or your children, are setting up at university, it's wise to think about getting some contents insurance, or perhaps think about expanding your home insurance to cover your offspring's possessions.

To save money, and ensure that you get the most comprehensive cover, it's important to compare quotes. You can start researching now by using our home insurance tool. Some insurance companies offer bespoke student cover, so you may want to investigate those, too.

When looking at quotes, make sure you have a reasonably accurate idea of how much all your belongings cost. This will ensure that you have adequate cover in place. It's also a good idea to check that the insurance covers your belongings if you take them out of your accommodation. If your laptop gets stolen from the library, you will want to know that you're covered for a replacement, so always check the small print.

What next?

Compare home insurance quotes with our handy tool

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.