...said nobody ever.
And though insurance is an effective narcoleptic, the stuff below is must-read.
Ignoring the small print
Insurance can be a little misleading. For instance, you may feel safe with insurance covering you ‘up to £5,000’ but there can be plenty of conditions attached, hiding in the small print – it might be £5,000 worth of protection overall, but not for individual items alone. Often, laptop cover only runs up to somewhere around the £400 mark, which will be little use if you need to replace Apple’s finest.
Be sure to watch out for conditions attached to post-theft payouts. Often, if there's no sign of forced entry at a burglary, many companies won't cover the loss. So if one of your house-mates forgets to close a window or door, you could find yourself without your valuables and no funds to replace them.
Paying all at once
This is what's stopping you getting the insurance in the first place, right?
Nobody likes paying out lump sums at the start of term - so don't. Pay in monthly instalments to ease the damage. Endsleigh let you pay for your insurance monthly at no extra cost.
Buy online, too: not only is there usually a little discount, but it means you can better tailor your policy.
Getting lost in the lingo
You understand your excess and your premium, right?
You really don't want to confuse these two.
- Excess: the contribution you pay should you make an insurance claim; say, for example, you need to replace your £500 television and your excess is £50, you’ll receive £450 from the insurance company.
- Premium: the amount you pay for your insurance – typically collected monthly or yearly. How much an insurance policy costs differs person to person. If you’re careful year to year and look after your possessions, the premium is likely to drop.
Assuming everything is covered
Seriously you guys.
It's tempting to jump at the first insurance package to pop up on Google. Don't.
Likely, you're looking for gadget cover and student content insurance - between them, these will cover theft, loss or damage caused by fire, storm, vandalism, flood and burst pipes.
Musical instruments and bikes tend not to come under standard policies: the very cheapest cover tend to be crammed full of exclusions and limitations. If you want your bike covered, pay for it. Don't assume.
- You won’t need to worry about building insurance as your landlord should be responsible for that.
- Be sure you don’t already have cover from your uni. If you’re in student halls, you may be partially covered against theft for some goods, typically electrical goods in your room. Paying twice would be foolish, no?
Going with a no-name
Sure, some no-name might offer cover for a couple of quid less. But they're also less likely to be there when you need them.
We like Endsleigh. They've been doing this for over fifty years, have a good reputation and are recommended by the NUS. Plus, their prices are good, which is what matters, no? Maybe the most useful thing is their 24 hour* laptop and mobile phone replacement - and let's face it, uni without these two is nigh on impossible, so getting replacements ASAP is pretty much a must.
*24 hours from your claim being accepted.
Scrounging off parents
This idea. Where did it come from? Who thought this was a good thing?!
Well-meaning but flawed advice sometimes recommends extending a parents policy to cover possessions ‘away from home’, for students who live with their parents outside of term time.
It's a cheap solution but the cover won't be student specific and subsequently has one particular flaw: a policy extension will not cover theft where there are no signs of forced entry.
Far better to get a student orientated package and know you’re covered, rather than spend your lectures in a cold sweat wondering whether the back window was shut or not.
If you don't get insurance, you're probably being a Cameron.
The thing is, you might think you'll be fine without it but... well, God forbid we get serious, but student houses are the Holy Grail for opportunistic thieves and beloved possessions can all too easily become depressing memories. If you want to replace your losses, contents insurance is veritable necessity. And we haven't even covered your clumsiness...
Honestly, thinking you don't need insurance can be summed up in this picture...