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31% of students don’t understand contents insurance

31% of students don’t understand contents insurance
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Contents insurance can offer you valuable protection for your belongings if they are stolen or damaged. However, many people don’t have a strong understanding of what contents insurance involves and what it covers.

There is a particular knowledge gap around content insurance among students, as a recent survey revealed. Here is everything you need to know.

Contents insurance knowledge: what does the research show?

In a recent poll conducted by YouGov and Paymentshield, 31% of all full-time students surveyed stated that they were not confident they understood what content insurance covers.

The data’s demographic breakdown further reflects the knowledge gap. Three in ten (31%) 18-24-year-olds stated that they were not confident in their understanding of contents insurance.

Do I need contents insurance?

Student contents insurance policies typically cover possessions such as clothing, furniture, laptops and other electronic gadgets from theft, fire and floods. They’re available to students living in halls of residence or rented accommodation.

As with most types of insurance, it’s completely up to you to decide whether you need contents insurance.

Whether you are heading off to university for your first year or are a returning student, it’s easy to put contents insurance on the back burner. You may be under the impression that your stuff isn’t worth enough to bother with insurance. 

But your belongings are probably worth a lot more than you think. In fact, according to James Watson, sales director at Paymentshield, a typical university packing list can easily include £3,000 worth of contents. 

Also, data from the Office of National Statistics shows that students remain a major target group for criminals. This demographic alone accounts for around 16.6% of all personal crime.

Clearly, not having contents insurance could end up costing you. That’s why as record numbers of graduates head off to university in September, Paymentshield is urging students, parents and guardians to ensure that they have the right insurance in place.

Watson explains: “Having the right insurance in place can provide that extra layer of reassurance if items such as laptops or iPads are accidentally damaged or, even worse, stolen.”

Where do I get this type of cover?

A great place to search for cover is on comparison websites such as and MoneySuperMarket. Shopping around on these sites increases your odds of securing a deal that fits your needs and your budget.

However, it’s important to remember that some policies might come with a range of exclusions. “Checking your policy documents and not making assumptions is vital to making sure you are properly protected,” Watson explains.

So before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you read the fine print. Carefully check what the policy covers – and what it doesn’t – to avoid any nasty surprises later on.  

Also, before you buy contents insurance, make sure you check whether you are covered by your parents’ home insurance policy. Some policies provide cover for contents temporarily removed from the home by a family member in full-time education as standard.

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