With all the excitement of going to university or college and perhaps living away from home for the first time, it’s easy to forget some of the more mundane and practical aspects of life as a student. But as you embark on this important stage of your life, it’s time to face up to the reality of what it would mean if everything you own was destroyed in a fire, or stolen. How would you begin to pay for its replacement?
Whether you are living in a hall of residence, in a bedsit or a shared rented house, you need to take out appropriate tenants insurance to cover your belongings in the event of a disaster.
Tenants insurance policies cover the cost of replacing your personal possessions, up to an amount which is agreed with the insurer at the time you take out the cover. The limit should reflect the actual value of your possessions. It may take some time for you to work out the total, but if you do this accurately you won’t end up paying for a level of cover that is more than you actually need.
Remember that you need to include the value of your clothing, your books and any equipment you use for studying, your computer, audio equipment, television and DVD player and other things such as sports equipment, your bike and anything valuable such as jewellery or watches. Usually tenants insurance policies stipulate a maximum value on the amount they will pay out to replace an individual item. So if you know you have things worth more than this minimum, you should discuss this with the insurance company in order that appropriate extra cover can be added to your policy.
Something else that may well prove to be important to you as a student is that your tenants insurance policy can cover your possessions whilst they are temporarily away from your accommodation. This would apply during those occasions when you go back home to your parents during holidays or go travelling.
As a student it’s highly likely that you will be renting furnished accommodation and whilst the landlord is responsible for taking out insurance on the actual fabric of the building, you may be held liable for any damage you cause to items the landlord has provided in the accommodation. Furniture and appliances such as a fridge or cooker would be included in this category, as well as carpets, curtains and other fixtures and fittings. Tenants insurance can cover you for this liability, up to an amount which will be agreed with the insurer when you first take out the policy. This value is likely to be much lower than that placed on your own possessions, but it’s nevertheless an important part of the cover you need.
There are a number of companies providing tenants insurance policies and you should be able to find something suitable for your own requirements. Historically, it used to be more difficult to find this type of insurance, as companies were more reluctant to cover people living in rented accommodation, especially students. However, as the size of the rental market has increased in recent years, tenants insurance is becoming easier to find and the choice and range of policies available is better than ever.