Students Urged to Go Through Insurance Policies with a Fine Tooth Comb

Oct 5, 2011   //   by Daniel Morris   //   Insurance  //  1 Comment

Those who have decided to move on to further education by going to university have been warned that their personal possessions may not actually be automatically covered by general annual insurance at their halls of residence.

This is the opinion of the head of consumer finance at Love Money, Ed Bowsher.

Mr Bowsher has urged future scholars to take the time to find out if they are protected before moving into their home-from-home, so as to avoid any potential confusion or unexpected high costs whilst studying.

The expert went on to say that “students should also check their parents’ home insurance policies,” adding that “some policies will cover students even if they’re living away from home”

This was later backed up by Mike Powell, insight analyst for general insurance at Defaqto, who has also urged those joining university for the 2011/12 academic year to look into whether or not they are protected by their parent’s insurance policies.

Research carried out by Defaqto showed that, while 85 per cent of contents and buildings insurance packages will cover the belongings of a student while they are at university, the other 15 per cent do not.

This news could mean that student account holders may not be covered and this could potentially become very costly if their possessions should be damaged, lost or even stolen.

Mr Powell went on to say, “As always, the devil is in the detail – so students and parents need to check what – if any – cover their family home insurance will provide.”

Mr Bowsher finished by expressing that he feels that students often do not realize just how valuable their personal belongings (laptops and smartphones) are, and therefore neglect to take out proper insurance on them.

The comments expressed by Mr Bowsher are reminiscent of those given by Annie Shaw of Cash Questions, who urged future scholars to consider taking out insurance policies sooner rather than later to avoid being caught out in the event of their possessions being damaged or going missing.

During August (18th), the insurance company Aviva called on their customers that were heading to university to complete a degree to take out effective cover for all of their gadgets and expensive items.

However, if another recent study is to be believed, this advice may go unheeded by the majority of students.

At least this is the opinion of John Baker, head of general insurance for Nationwide, who believes that a high number of future scholars in the UK have a lax attitude towards signing up for insurance products such as buildings and contents.

Research published at the beginning of September by the financier revealed that around 40 per cent of students in higher education will take over £500 worth of personal possessions with them when moving away from home to their chosen university.

However, it seems that covering their belongings is not the top of the agenda for most students. A survey conducted by the company showed that the majority of students questioned were more concerned with making friends and joining social groups.

Mr Baker went on to indicate that 15 per cent of university attendees have fallen victim to theft, which clearly shows that taking out an effective insurance policy is vital for future scholars.

He later added, “Rather than ignoring it, this is something that students should take account of and should do something about.”

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