Need to Know: Contents Insurance for Students

Tenants and students renting a home do not have to worry about buildings insurance – but many forget they need cover for their own belongings.

The property owner will take care of buildings insurance for anyone living in a buy to let or flat.

That just leaves all the belongings and valuables a tenant owns.

It’s quick and easy to find cheap contents insurance as a tenant.

The best policies usually offer new-for-old replacements and accidental damage cover, although sometimes tenants have to pay extra for the higher level of contents insurance.

A point to remember is accidental cover will let tenants replace any of the landlord’s fixtures or fittings if they are damaged.

If you live in a flat, this only applies to anything inside your front door, not the common areas, like stairs, hallways, lifts or the grounds outside.

One of the key points about contents insurance is the ‘sum insured’.

This is the limit on how much the contents insurer will pay on a claim.

If the sum assured is too low, say £35,000 on contents worth £50,000, then the claim will be settled at 70% of the value of the items.

If the contents insurance sum assured is too high, say £65,000 on contents worth £50,000, then £50,000 is the maximum pay out.

The best way to make sure the sum assured is right is to inventory belongings once moved in  and to set the contents insurance at that amount.

Another point to watch about tenant or student insurance is the terms of cover for sharing.

Most standard home contents insurance will not cover claims if another person shares the house who is unrelated to the householder.

It’s a good idea to make clear to the contents insurance provider that the property is shared if that’s the case so the premium reflects the circumstances and claims are not rejected.

Specialist insurers will understand the needs of students or tenants sharing a home and tailor cover to suit.

They should also include extra features like computers, bikes kept in sheds or garages and cover for electronic music and software downloads.

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