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University Challenge - students need insurance cover

21st August 2016 Print

Your starter for ten – what is the average value of possessions that students take with them to university?  Answer - £3,500.

With around one in five students likely to be victims of theft during their time at university, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is urging anyone preparing for the start of the new academic year to make sure they have protection in place for their possessions.

The ABI’s insurance advice is:

- It may be possible for an existing home insurance policy to be extended to cover possessions at university, so check that first. If not, then consider taking out a separate policy.

- If living in student halls of residence, check if any insurance cover is already in place, and if so whether there are any limits on the value of your possessions.

- If moving into a privately owned house or flat you will need to take out separate contents cover.

Mark Shepherd, ABI’s Manager, General Insurance, said: “Starting university can be both exciting and daunting. While there’s no insurance against overdoing it during Freshers’ Week, a policy covering your possessions can make a big difference if you’re the victim of crime.

“There’s a lot to plan for and look forward to as you get ready to start university, but it’s worth thinking about how you’d cope if you lost your phone or had your laptop stolen. Most of us have gadgets we don’t want to be without so it pays to plan security measures and get insurance in place before you move in to your student accommodation.”

As well as having insurance, help protect yourself from crime by also remembering these sensible steps:

- If in private rented accommodation make sure your front and back doors are strong and secure, with good quality locks. Downstairs windows should have locks as well. If you feel that security is insufficient, ask your landlord if they can be upgraded.

- In halls of residence, always lock your room and ensure that any windows are shut when it is unoccupied.

- Hide your valuables. Possessions such as laptops may not only be vital to your studies, but are also very attractive to thieves so keep them out of sight and away from windows.

- Security mark your property. A  UV pen can be used to mark valuables, such as a laptop or television, with your post code and telephone number. This will help police identify any recovered property. It can also be worth having photos of your valuables in case they get taken, and knowing where your receipts for them are kept.

- Be careful on social media. Think twice before disclosing your plans and movements on social media as this could alert criminals to when the property will be empty.

- Take it home in the holidays. Criminals know that student houses are empty over the summer, making them easier targets, so don’t leave anything valuable behind.