So, you’ve survived Freshers’ week unscathed. Or have you? Did you break anything, lose anything or, worse still, have anything stolen?
According to a recent survey, a quarter of Freshers arrive at University with items worth more than £3,000, laptops and bikes for example. So what happens if you have broken, lost or had valuable items stolen?
Your parents’ home insurance covers it, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? Not necessarily!
The research shows that there are wide differences in what home insures will allow. 442 policies examined and one in six do not allow parents to extend cover to your possessions at Keele. The remainder offer the cover as standard or offer an optional policy extension, but terms and conditions vary widely
For example about 16% of the policies cover up to £5000 of your possessions. 33% stretch to £9,999 while 13% cover more than £10,000
You should definitely ask your parents to tell their insurers that you’re at uni and to ask if there are any policy exclusions. Typical exclusions include:
- a laptop may be covered if it’s stolen from your room, but not if you left it in a coffee shop by mistake and it went walkabout
- there may be ‘single item limits’ on things such as tablets, laptops and smartphones
- insurers often only pay out in cases of theft if there has been ‘forcible and violent entry’. If you leave your door unlocked, or a ‘friend’ thieves something during a party, you might not be covered
- there be a cover limit in the event of theft
- individual rooms on campus are usually covered while shares of rented flats off campus may not be
- taking things like laptops and smartphones outside your room to lectures, social events etc. may invalidate the cover unless there is a ‘personal possessions’ extension in the policy, which often costs extra (not sure what world insurance companies think students inhabit!)
- money and jewellery are generally not covered
Keele gives you a core level of protection for some of your belongings, whilst they are in your campus accommodation. Bedroom insurance includes tablet cover up to £500. For details of how to top that up if you’re not covered elsewhere click on http://www.keele.ac.uk/studyatkeele/accommodation/studentlifeoncampus/contentsinsurance/
If the worst comes to the worst, make sure you record everything that’s happened. report loss or damage to the police; many insurers won’t allow a claim without a crime reference number