The vital facts about contents insurance for students

Heading off to university is an incredibly exciting time. Whether you're a fresher venturing away from home for the first time or you're heading back to your uni town it's bound to be a year of fun. Living in halls of residence or renting a house and having your own space means that you'll be filling it with the essentials to make it feel like home. From your TV, laptop and mobile phone, to the textbooks that you may or may not use as a laptop riser - these things are all necessities. Add in your clothes and everything else that makes your room or flat feel like your own and you've got a big chunk of your belongings with you.

Do students need contents insurance?

40% of students calculate that their contents could be worth between £1,000 and £2,499 and 24% estimate that their stuff is worth more than £2,500*. That's a big figure to find if you were unfortunately broken into or your belongings were damaged. Check out 'Take Your Pick' home insurance and get an online quote today to cover yourself. 

Are students covered under parents insurance?

Many students will assume that their possessions are covered by their parents’ home insurance or by their landlord or university’s insurance. This can be true but the policies can vary and it's best to check what is covered, if anything. Some insurers will cover items taken away to university, but any claims could mean that your parents may lose any discount they’ve built up for not claiming. However, some insurers won’t insure students and those under 18 are unable to take out policies. If you are under 18, ask your parents to consult their insurer to arrange for contents insurance for the items you are taking to university.

If you rent privately through a private landlord, your landlord will take out buildings insurance for the actual building but your belongings are your own responsibility, so unless you have contents insurance, through your own policy or under your parents’ policy, you won’t be covered if anything goes wrong.

Most first-year students will live in halls of residence. Check with your university if contents insurance is included with this and what restrictions apply. 

What is covered with student contents insurance?

You will be asked to work out the replacement value of your possessions when you take out a policy. Be as accurate as possible with this as under-estimating will leave you under-insured which could result in a claims payment being reduced or the claim declined altogether. Most policies have a single item limit, the maximum value of any single item among your possessions. 

If you have anything that exceeds this limit (such as a musical instrument or a bike), then you will have to declare this separately to the combined value of the rest of your possessions. Most policies will cover you in the event that your possessions are stolen or damaged by fire or flood, but not always for accidental damage. You may need to take out optional extras to make sure you are covered in all eventualities.

Extra Protection

Accidental Damage

One morning, in the rush to get ready for a lecture, you accidentally drop and smash your laptop in your bedroom. Ordinarily, you wouldn’t be covered in these circumstances, unless you add accidental damage cover. This would only be covered inside your home however, cover away from the home is explained below.

Personal possessions

Contents insurance means protecting your items while they’re in your home. However, you can add extra cover that ensures they’re covered while you’re out and about. This could be invaluable if your phone or laptop get stolen while away from your accommodation. 

Personal liability

Adding personal liability insurance means you’re covered if anything happens to contents belonging to your landlord, such as curtains, carpets and furniture – if your property comes furnished. This isn’t a substitution for taking proper care of your rented accommodation and any furnishings provided by your landlord.

If you enjoyed this article you might want to read our top tips for deep cleaning your house which could be useful for the end of the year clean to make sure that you get your deposit back! 

Plus if you or your parents are qualifying** members of The Nottingham and buy RSA home insurance online***, via our contact centre or in a branch you'll receive £25 cashback. Find out more about becoming a qualifying member and check out 'Take Your Pick' home insurance*** and get an online quote today. 


*Co-Op Insurance research 2017 - Survey of 500 students was conducted by Atomik research on behalf of Co-op Insurance.

** A qualifying building society member is someone aged over 18 who has a savings balance of at least £500 and in addition: has held a savings account with us for at least 12 months or currently has a Nottingham Building Society mortgage. 


students contents insurance


Last updated on:
Next review:
Originally published on:

Sign up to our newsletter

We regularly send out newsletters with product information, advice on improving your finances and top tips. If you would like to receive this please sign up to our newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any point.