What cover do I need?
There are different types of ‘home’ insurance – contents only, buildings and contents, or buildings only. Contents insurance covers your belongings; buildings insurance covers the fabric of the property (like the roof). Wherever you’re living, your landlord (or university) should cover the ‘buildings’ part.
A contents insurance policy should cover your stuff if it’s stolen, lost, or damaged by storms, fires, burst pipes, etc. It’s worth adding ‘accidental’ damage to your policy, too.
Don’t forget to read the small print
You might feel safe in the knowledge that your contents insurance covers you for £5,000 worth of stuff, and the most expensive thing you own is a laptop – but often there are hidden restrictions. For example, laptops may only be covered up to certain value (or sometimes not at all), as may mobile phones and tablets; and you may be covered for theft and damage but not loss.
Location can be a factor, too: your car insurance may not be valid if you’re living away at university or if you don’t let them know you are at a different address to that stated on your policy. The excess figure is also something you must pay attention to: you’ll pay this part of any claim that you decide to make, and the insurance company will pay the rest.